new fairy tale ballet caught my attention. "Raven Girl" is based on a book by Audrey Niffenegger. At first I was suspicious that it would be just a fantasy book that is mildly similar to fairy tales and thus earned itself the article title. But although it's definitely a modern story, I was intrigued by the interview with Niffenegger and how she did relate what she had learned about fairy tales to the writing of her novel. For example, on transformation:
"Fairy tales, you know, almost always feature some kind of transformation. There are so many people and animals in fairy tales that are either between states, or have been turned into something against their will."
The story is "about a postman who marries a raven, their union producing a daughter who looks human (at least at first) but feels like a bird underneath the skin"-which is very reminiscent of selkie stories.
Niffenegger also says about her research for the story:
"So I started reading a lot of fairy tales, and one thing that struck me was how matter-of-fact they are. People are seldom surprised in fairy tales, or if they are, they rapidly adapt. And I thought that whatever happens in my story, it should be surprising to the audience, but not surprising to the people it's happening to."
The ballet premiered in London this spring.