Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fairy post #5

Hey ho, hoodwinking hurly burlies!

News just in: hold the date, 13th June, for The Monash Fairy Tale Salon at the Glen Eira Storytelling Festival. We'll be celebrating Alice's Adventures in Wonderland's 150th birthday. Also that Belinda Calderone is now Vice President of The Australian Fairy Tale Society!

Imagine a caterpillar smoking rings on this moss mushroom waterfall?

Wonderland Blue...

Fey events very soon:

'Gael Cresp'
Before there were books, there were stories
Gael Cresp is a life member of Storytelling Australia Victoria
Wonthaggi Library
13th March & 27th March
Murray Street, Wonthaggi

'Maia Takes Flight'
Theatrical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's 'Thumbelina'
first published 1835;
Finding courage in unexpected places
Castlemaine State Festival, Victoria
Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th March, 11:30am
Phee Broadway Theatre, Mechanics Lane, Castlemaine

'CreateAbility: Cultural Exchange'
Taffy Thomas, Britain's first Storytelling Laureate,
Free in Carnival of Community
Castlemaine State FestivalVictoria
Saturday 14th March 12:30pm & Sunday 15th March 11am
Saturday 21st March 12:30pm
Victory Park, Mostyn St, Castlemaine

'World Storytelling Day'
Sunday 22nd March, 1pm - 3:30pm
Theme: "Wishes" Story Slam - bring a cushion!
With Gerry Nelson on piano & Storytelling Australia Victoria
(Not all world tales are about fairies, but we never know when they'll appear!)
Melbourne City Library
253 Flinders Lane (upstairs, gallery, alternative access), Melbourne

Gold Dust Water by Louisa John-Krol

Recently I met visiting NSW storyteller Jenni Cargill-Strong of The Storytree Company with two local folklorists whose research I deeply respect: Toby Eccles and Robyn Floyd:

Toby Eccles, talented folklorist of Healesville, told a Macedonian fairy tale entitled “Tentelina and the Wolves” in a gentle tone with patient pace, hinting at refs to classic fairy tales including Rapunzel (though here it’s the brother who climbs the long hair), Rumplestiltskin and Little Red Riding Hood (with wolf as incarcerator rather than devourer), complete with talking spoons. This 1973 Macedonian-Australian version was first recorded in Melbourne 1976. Ref: “One Hundred One Macedonian Folk Tales”. I discovered Toby at Transporting Tales, a Monash Fairy Tale Salon symposium in the Glen Eira Town Hall theatrette for a storytelling festival in Caulfield. Toby runs a guesthouse Strathvea, where our fairy tale ring will meet this July - email Louisa for details.

Robyn E. Floyd is completing her PhD on “Imagining Australia in fairy tales, philosophical essays and children’s songs: Olga Ernst’s construction of Australian bush fantasy in Australian children’s literature from a German-Australian perspective”. I discovered Robyn’s research in 2013 during An Afternoon in Fairy Land by The Monash Fairy Tale Salon at the Rare Books Collection, Sir Louis Matheson Library, Clayton campus, at which Robyn presented a paper “Imported Fairies in the Australian Bush: Olga Ernst’s Fairy Tales”. She’s found a vibrant place for storytelling in primary school education, developing ways to cultivate curiosity and hold attention, imparting listening skills with knowledge, while nurturing imaginations. On her blog she writes of how early Australian fairy tales had a distinctly green and gold hue, not in spinning straw into gold, but in wattle and other foliage of the bush.

Jenni Cargill-Strong had been flown to Melbourne as a storyteller to spin ecological tales. The story she shared with us at our meeting over a meal at Federation Square was “Sneaky Cheeky Dingo”, her adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood, set on K’gari - traditional name of Fraser Island. Jenni’s story-CD “The Mermaid’s Shoes” (Honours, US Storytelling World Award) is a charming way to salute the last waves of sunshine as we tumble into Autumn, and I've been enjoying discovering her other titles "The Story Tree" and "Reaching for the Moon": Web + Facebook

At our meeting I told a tale of a seamerrow, borrowing some of Oscar Wilde’s lines from his fairy tale “The Fisherman and his Soul”, using the fishing net as a motif of sea-bound return, much like the relationship between the selkie and its pelt, or the seamerrow and her redcap.

Thanks Jo Henwood of The Australian Fairy Tale Society for our reading list in the season of water faeries. It'll flow into our wellspring for next Summer. Mermaid pics below were provided by the AFTS and by Melbourne Fairy Tale Ring member Robyn Floyd:

Mermaid by Jennie Harbour 1932

By Dorothy Ashley for Olga Ernst

To contribute to discussion, join the forum The Australian Fairy Tale Society

Stay tuned for interviews with people from The Monash Fairy Tale Salon, The Story Tree company, Storytelling Australia Victoria and other treats. Scroll for earlier articles and other snippets...

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