Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts is pleased to present the original story ballet Racham, a True Fairytale for the second year! Performances are scheduled for May 2 & 3, 2015.
Racham (raw-kham'), a True Fairytale
Racham - to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion.
Once, long ago, there lived a good and wise King named Eli who ruled over the Kingdom of Dicayo. He was gentle and kind to all his subjects and ruled his kingdom with grace and justice. All those who lived within the walls of his castle were kept safe and at peace from the turmoil that lay outside the protective walls.
King Eli and his beautiful wife, Queen Alma, had one child, but longed for another. They rejoiced when they found out that the Queen was to give birth to their second child, a daughter. The King and Queen loved their two daughters very much, and raised them in the safety and peace of the castle walls. The girls were surrounded by love, with Nanny Katherine and Madame Greensley teaching them to read and to dance at a very young age. As the daughters grew, their father gave them everything thing they needed, and they lacked no good thing. The only thing they couldn’t do was venture beyond the safe walls of the castle.
Alice, the older daughter, loved the walls of safety, but Anne, the younger princess, always wondered what lay beyond.
When Anne, turned sixteen, her parents threw her a wonderful party for her birthday. All of her friends, relatives, and the courtiers appeared to celebrate this special day. There were grand waltzes, lively gavottes, storytelling, and much joy! The King and Queen even bought Anne four life-size porcelain dolls; one from Spain, one from Poland, one from China and an adorable Russian counting doll. The dolls sprang to life and danced all over the room, much to the delight of the guests.
As the night went on, the courtiers danced whimsically and the children of the court played their games. Alice, the King’s oldest daughter, danced merrily with the guests, enjoying the splendor of the party. Anne danced beautifully as well, but couldn’t help thinking that the party wasn’t nearly as grand as it ought to have been. After many hours of joy, the guests returned home, and the royal family retired to their beds.
A few days later, while the children of the court played and the maids went about their work, Anne continued to become more and more disenchanted with the palace. She couldn’t help but wonder what was beyond the walls of the castle.
“Is this really all there is?
“What else is beyond the walls of this palace? What if there is something wonderful out there that I’m missing? Maybe my Father is just keeping me here to hide all of the excitement and fun to be found beyond the walls!?”
Anne decidedto go to the King and ask him to give her all of her possessions so that she could leave and make a new life for herself outside the walls. Alice and the Queen begged her not to go, but Anne had made up her mind. “I’m not a child anymore! I’m ready to see the world!” Anne left the safety of the castle, and the care of her father and set out to see what was beyond the walls.
Anne hadn’t walked very far when she saw tall, colorful tents waving in the distance.
As she approached she saw glamorous women and powerful men enjoy a masquerade ball. They were dazzling and moved with grace and splendor. What a sight to behold! “How fun and exciting!” Anne thought to herself, as she came to have a closer look. The citizens of this town wore incredible gowns made of the finest cloth, and jewelry that made her own royal attire look rather dim. Their faces shone with jewels and glitter, they were a stunning sight to behold. Even more than that, Anne couldn’t believe how beautifully these men and women danced! It was like nothing she had ever seen before, and she couldn’t tear her eyes away.
Princess Anne had come to the City of Avon, ruled by the charming Duke Rasha and his Duchess, the alluring Yanah. Surely, this is what I’ve been looking for. My father had hidden all of these things from me! Now I will live here in this new city and be truly happy, thought Anne. The citizens of Avon were all too obliging, showering Anne with gifts and flattery. Anne danced with Rasha and Yanah, eagerly falling instep with their tantalizing dance. What Anne didn’t notice was that each of the citizens had two faces, one on the front, and one on the back of their heads. One face was beautiful to behold, full of energy and excitement. The other face was hideous and vile, there was no life in it—only death.
Rasha gave the Princess several beautiful gold bracelets that wrapped all the way up her arm. Rasha declared loftily,“These riches signify that you are our newest citizen! You will receive all the wealth and privilege of the City of Avon.”
Anne was delighted, and basked in the company of her new friends.
All of the sudden, the citizens turned on Anne.
Anne finally saw them for whom they truly were—vile, empty beings, consumed by greed and intoxicated with their own desires. They rushed at Anne, stripping her of her clothes, crown and jewels. They threw her out of Avon into the dark forest outside the tents. They left her alone, with nothing but her chemise and the gold bracelets from Duke Rasha. The Duke and Duchess sneered at Anne as they pranced away, taking all her earthly possessions with them. Anne reached for Rasha’s bracelets to throw them off, but they wouldn’t budge. She realized now that these weren’t jewels they were shackles. Anne had given up everything she had for the jewels of Avon, and in the end had been left with nothing but her captor’s chains.
As Anne sat, alone and cold, she felt eyes peering at her from all directions. Grey shapes began to make their way toward her. As they neared, she saw that they were human, though their eyes were sunken in and their cheeks were hollow. The street vagrants moved slowly and hopelessly, not paying much heed to Anne. One old woman walked slowly over to Anne.
“Welcome to the Valley of Baca, I am the gate keeper, I am called Polly,”
said the old woman in a voice devoid of emotion.Polly sat with Anne, not saying much, as the other beggar women and children shuffled slowly about the forest in search of food and shelter.
Anne thought aloud “What have I done? How could I have been so blind? I have lost everything and now my life is in ruins. All I want is to return to my father, but he would never want me now.”Polly turned to Anne, staring coldly, and said, “Foolish child, the King doesn’t care about us here. I don’t even believe that he exists, but if he does, he is not kind or good. He has left you for dead. You may as well stay here with us, and struggle, for this is all there is to life.” Anne hung her head in despair and joined the sad, forlorn movements of the lifeless grey shapes.
After a few weeks of living in the Valley of Bacca, Anne could not stop thinking about her Father. Maybe he will let me be a servant in his house? Maybe he will at least allow my to stay in the barn with the animals. Even being a servant in my father’s house, or a sheep in his barn would be better than living here in the valley.
So Anne decided to begin the long journey home.
The Kingdom of Dicayo had not slept in weeks.
King Eli and Queen Alma sat up waiting every night for their beloved princess to come home. Princess Alice and the children of the court waited and hoped that they would see their beloved friend and sister once again. The king and queen kept a candle burning for their daughter, hoping against hope that she would return.
One night, as the king and queen looked sadly out the window, they saw a small, weak figure approaching. King Eli ran to see who it was. “Anne!” He cried with delight as he rushed to pick up the small, exhausted figure at the gate. “Your majesty,” Anne replied, “may I be admitted as a servant into your house? For I am no longer worthy to be called your daughter.” “My child,” said the king, wiping Anne’s tears, “you are my child, and my love for you is far greater than any insult or grief you have caused. Come here my child, and call me Father.” Tears rolled down Anne’s cheeks as her mother and father hugged and kissed their long lost child. “Attendants, will you take her to get a new dress and crown?” said the king, and her my child,” he said turning to Anne, “here is my ring, a symbol of my everlasting love for you, my daughter.” The attendants busied themselves taking care of Princess Anne, under the tender eye of her sister Alice. Peace had once again come to the kingdom of Dicayo, and there was great joy and feasting in all the kingdom, for the king’s daughter had come home!
The next day, as the royal family enjoyed a moment of peace together, they heard a strange sound. Duke Rasha appeared in the room without warning and demanded, “That girl is mine, Eli! She is my property, and she gave all that she is to me! See, she is wearing my mark.” Rasha ran over to Anne and grabbed her wrist, revealing the shackles that were still tightly wound.
“The girl’s soul is my property, and I must be paid!” Shrieked Rasha, “a life for a life is the only way to satisfy her debt.” Rasha raised his sword, but the King blocked his arm. “You may not have my daughter,” said the King quietly, “but you may have me instead.” Rasha’s face turned to sheer delight. With glee he raised his sword and plunged into the King’s heart.
Alice and Queen Alma froze in horror and disbelief and covered the King’s body with a cloth, weeping and moaning, they sat by his lifeless form. Anne turned sick to her stomach. “How could he do this? How could he lay his life down for me, after all I have done?” She began to sob deep sobs of regret. She sobbed and sobbed, until she had no tears left. As she looked through her tears, she noticed that her arm was bare. Rasha’s bracelets had broken and lay in pieces on the floor. Her father had traded His life, for hers. Rasha had no more right to her soul, his mark was gone. Even after she had forsaken her Father and his kingdom, he freed her from the very thing she had left him for.
Suddenly the room was filled with the Beasts of Avon, crawling and scraping over the walls and into the castle. The King’s general, the Commander of the Sabaoth appeared with his army to defend the Kingdom, as the battle for the Kingdom of Dicayo raged on. For hours the Sabaoth fought and fought, but they could not push back the Beasts of Avon. The Sabaoth hung their heads in dismay as the beasts howled in victory. All hope was gone and the army decided to surrender.
Anne heard a rustling noise behind her where her Father lay. Was that the wind? A beast creeping up behind her. Anne turned to see what it was. The King, the King is alive! “He’s alive!” She shouted in disbelief. “The King that was dead is now alive!” Rasha and his beasts, who had been celebrating, now shrieked in terror. The army of the Sabaoth rallied behind their King and he drove Rasha and the beasts into a deep pit of ashes and smoke.
Death could not hold him, the grave could not keep him, for the King had laid down his perfect life.
The King did not have Rasha’s mark, the mark that would condemn him to Eternal Death. There was no power in Death, for the King himself was Life.
All the subjects of the Kingdom of Dicayo bowed low before the King of Kings. Anne joined in the throng of courtiers as they worshiped and adored their risen King. With beauty and with strength they danced with all their might to adore the One who had saved them. The King danced with Anne, showering her with his love and grace, reminding her again and again that she was his daughter, his precious child. Anne honored her Father with the most beautiful dance she had ever performed and the kingdom began an eternity of peace.