I am going to tell a Russian fairy tale “Go I Know not Where, and Fetch I Know not What”, with the help of my trusted frame drum, at the Opening of Mill Pond Music Studio, Linden Mill, Hebden Bridge, on 24 November 2012, at about 2 pm.
My friend from Julia Cameron‘s “The Artist’s Way” group, Jim Donaghy, is going to read his witty, funny rhyming poems which brightened up many a meeting of the group for me.
I was contemplating story telling for a while now. Recently I saw the brilliant Matthew Bellwood at Magic Words. I love fairy tales. Russian fairy tales are as fascinating as traditional tales of many cultures, and, unlike many European or Disney “sterile” versions, lead us straight into the ancient myths and spiritual practices.
Russian fairy tales are full of magic, travel to different worlds, and powerful female wizards. What is funny as well is that none of that is explained, it is juts taken for granted – as if the listeners back then knew exactly what it was all about.
One of the most striking elements for me, when re-reading the tales recently, was one when after a miracle birth, a hero goes to the Underworld, seemingly for the first time, yet every magical creature, friend and especially foe, recognises him instantly and knows about his powers. Really cool stuff.
I chose “Go I Know not Where, and Fetch I Know not What” first, because it includes so many traditional magical script elements (which Vladimir Propp, a scholar of Russian magical tales, says are remnants of ancient initiation rituals). Second, it has a powerful sorceress.
And third, it is this very traditional tale that inspired a Soviet actor and a poet Leonid Filatov to write and perform The Tale of Fedot the Strelets. The tale, written as a long poem in a mocking invented dialect, has become hugely popular within Soviet public, with quotes from it entering everyday speech.