My title is the name of Jane Dougherty’s ‘Sunday Strange’ painting by Ivan Bilibin, which has an interesting fairy tale behind it. I looked it up on WIKI.
It reminded me a little of Cinderella, but no posh frock, fancy party and handsome Prince with a shoe fetish, yet you do have two ‘ugly sisters’ and a cruel stepmother.
A quick synopsis:
Stepmom gives each of her daughters and Vasilisa a task, then extinguishes all the lights bar one candle, which her eldest daughter stupidly puts out leaving them in darkness.
Vasilisa is sent into the woods to fetch light from some kind of witch (wouldn’t be a fairy tale without one), which she has to earn or be killed.
Knights on horseback (White, Red and Black denoting Day, Sun and Night) pass as she does the cleaning, laundry and cooking, plus she has the added tasks of sorting bad grain from good and seeds from soil which exhaust her. With the aid of a doll with magic powers given to her by her dying mother, Vasilisa is able to comply and thus earns the light, which is given to her as burning coals in a skull.
On her return, no light carried into the house has been able to survive in her stepfamily’s home, but the coals from the skull lantern burn stepmom and the sisters to ashes. The skull then tells her to bury it so that no-one else would be harmed.
Years later, she gets her ‘Prince’ as she became a skilled clothmaker which is noticed by the Czar and he marries her.
With my imagination going off, I could envisage this story portrayed as a ballet.
It could even be done on a budget using the props and scenery from previous Snow White or Hansel and Gretel works for the woods .
With it’s mixture of light and dark, good and bad, witch and lost souls, magic and the stepfamily getting their comeuppance not to mention a happy ending, I think it could be a great production!