Films by Jove, Inc. in association
Once upon a time, "in a faraway kingdom, there lived the daughter of a forest keeper. She was as gentle as her heart was pure." Her mother had died, and, many years later, her father remarried. This new wife was cold hearted and mean. Her own daughters, spoiled Ormella and awful Asparragella, lazed all day while Cinderella worked. There came a proclamation from the King. He "would be holding a glorious ball for his son, the prince." The noblefolk were all invited. Then Cinderella's stepmother said, "Oh, daughters! What a wonderful and grand time we shall have." But when Cinderella began to rejoice, "the stepmother demanded that she get right to work sewing new dresses for them all." The night before the great event, Asparagella and Ormella dreamed sweetly of the festivity to come. But Cinderella shivered in the dark. "As the solitary glow of the candle faded to sleep, so did Cinderella." All the next day was a rush of work for her, and, when evening came and the stepmother and daughters appeared by the door, Cinderella's father said,"Wife, isn't Cinderella joining us?" His wife said that yes, she was . Just as soon as she finished her chores. Then she ordered Cinderella to "wash the dishes, scour the pots and pans, sweep and polish all the floors, and scrub the fireplace until it is spotless. Wash all the clothes, including your father's old wretched undergarments." With that, she strode away. Dutifully, Cinderella worked until the hour was late. Then she fell asleep. A sound awakened her: the "soothing voice of her fairy godmother." The kind old granny sent the girl into the garden for a pumpkin, field mice, and lizards. These were quickly transformed into a carriage, team of horses, and footment. Then "the fairy godmother placed her own sapphire crown on Cinderella's head as she transformed her rags into a radiant gown. In no time at all, Cinderella arrived at the palace. When she entered the ballroom, she didn't join the dancers. "Accustomed to keeping house, [she] began doing so at the palace. The king was instantly taken by this kind and gentle maiden." So was the prince. Then he led her onto the dance floor. There they "entered a world that belonged only to them". But then the clock struck twelve. Cinderella ran and the prince ran after her. That is how she lost "one of her crystal slippers". The clock chimed on, and Cinderella's finery once more became rags. In the morning, the prince sent his messenger out to announce that "all maidens are invited to try on this crystal slipper. She whose foot fits the slipper shall become the prince's bride!" Of course, the stepmother pushed forward and begged the man to come to her house first. He did, and when the crystal slipper would not slide onto her daughters' feet, the stepmother carelessly "ordered Cinderella to help them." At the same moment that the prince's eyes lit up with recognition of the lovely girl, "the stepmother saw her error". And to general surprise, the crystal shoe fitted Cinderella perfectly. So the prince said to her, "Will you marry me?" and of course, Cinderella said that she would. They had a joyful wedding and lived happily for "many magical years".
From Mikhail Baryshnikov's Stories From My Childhood (2002) New York: Harry N. AbramsMikhail Baryshnikov's Stories From My Childhood : Beloved Fairy Tales from the Queen to CinderellaSearch Amazon.com Books for mikhail baryshnikov stories from my childhood
Montessori Connection: Fine Arts/Ballet
1. Read this story and learn that one of the most famous ballet dancers of all time watched film versions of these fairy tales in the 1950's in the Soviet Republic of Latvia.
2. Learn more about Mikhail Baryshnikov:Because . . .