On Wednesday I spent a magical evening watching the Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty, which was being relayed to cinemas around the country live from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Everything about the performance was captivating – the music, the set, the costumes, the dancing, and the story. Watching it on screen gave a great perspective with closeups on the dancers, seeing how they performed the most demanding movements with such apparent ease and lightness.
Perhaps the thing I was most struck by was the power of a good story to enchant and inspire. Yesterday I dug out my book of Fairy Tales and read the story again out of a mixture of interest and pure escapism. Fairy tales are strange things, being so full of the stuff of real life and yet so fantastical, but they have been told for centuries in all the changing formats our shifting cultures have brought, and will continue to be told for centuries to come.
We need stories. They help us to connect and understand one another, to escape from our lives but also to make sense of them. They lift us and help us to look beyond our situations and to dream of more… They empower us to explore a world so full of beauty and mystery, and inspire us to fight for Good’s victory over Evil.
What is your favourite story?