Maurice Ravel composed The Fairy Garden to express the moment in Sleeping Beauty when the princess awakens from her one-hundred-year slumber.
Children Without a Voice is about a real Sleeping Beauty—a girl who represents one of several hundred refugee children who have migrated to Sweden.
These children fall into a catatonic state after their families are repeatedly denied asylum. The violence they have witnessed in their native countries combined with the threat of deportation causes their bodies to shut down as a form of self-preservation that can last for months or even years.
They often begin to awaken from their trauma-induced condition only when they understand that their families have gained permanent residence.
Children Without a Voice was screened during a live performance of Ravel's Apothéose: Le Jardin féerique (Apotheosis: The Fairy Garden) by the Louisville Orchestra, January 25 and 26, 2019.
Digital video, 8 minutes, color and black and white
© 2019 Germantown Films
Children Without a Voice
Below is a prologue which provides more backstory to Sleeping Beauty's trauma.
The Prologue to Children Without a Voice
Maurice Ravel held a genuine warmth for children. He composed his Mother Goose Suite for two young pupils whose parents were artists. The final movement of the suite, The Fairy Garden, represents the moment in Sleeping Beauty when the princess gradually awakens after her long slumber.
In Children Without a Voice, a refugee child becomes entrapped in a deep sleep. She is a victim of Resignation Syndrome, a disease that has afflicted over two hundred refugee children in Sweden. These children fall into an unresponsive physical state for months or even years when their families are denied asylum and face deportation. The children emerge from their deep sleeping illness only when they understand that their families are safe and have gained permanent residence in Sweden.
Writer and Director
Assistant Production Designer
Dancers Center for Training
Dr. Elisabeth Hultcrantz
Kentucky College of Art & Design
Village Manor Apartments
Information on resignation syndrome