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Jennings and Ponder bring “Vampire Princess” alive

MIDDLEBURY — Storytellers Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder perform their new program of eerie traditional folk tales and music, “The Vampire Princess,” at Ilsley Library in Middlebury on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m.
The Montpelier Times Argus called the show “rich entertainment: riveting, macabre, and very funny.” Seven Days said it was “a delight to watch” and identified the performers as “Vermont treasures.”
Attendees can expect no garlic necklaces or sparkly skin. The title story is the real thing, collected from Romany (gypsy) people hundreds of years ago in Bohemia.
In a setting of forest, castle and crypt, the storytellers will introduce a gypsy soldier near the end of his service, a treacherous king, his bloodthirsty daughter, an old beggar woman who knows a thing or two, the palace guard, and a mysterious and hungry all-knowing beast who lives in the heart of the woods. 
This central tale is fleshed out with neck-pricklers from India, Germany, Mexico and Vermont, interspersed with Celtic music played on harp and concertina.
The program is for adults, teens and older children. The performance engages the audience on the strongest terms, emotionally, intellectually, viscerally, and even politically, as the duo demonstrates how much power humanity’s oldest dreamscapes can still exert upon the people of today.
Jennings and Ponder are widely considered to be among today’s most outstanding interpreters of the traditional oral tale. They live in Montpelier. For more information about “The Vampire Princess,” call the library at 388-4095.

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