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Meet the storytellers

Diane Ferlatte

Diane Ferlatte  

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Stories from across the world, told by seven international storytellers, enthralled Bangaloreans

How we long for those days when we could listen to stories and be transported to magical worlds and different cultures!

Bengalureans were fortunate to get such an opportunity at the recently-held International Storytelling Festival, Under the Aaladamaraa, organised by Bangalore Storytelling Society.

It was organised in association with Kathai Kalatta and The Hindu Young World.

Seven storytellers — from America, Singapore, India, and UK — conducted sessions and workshops for children and adults at the Army Public School. Every evening, a special showcase was held at M.L.R. Convention Centres, J.P. Nagar and Whitefield. The storytellers, Diane Ferlatte, Craig Jenkins, Jeeva Raghunath, Antonio Rocha, Jeff Gere, Sheila Wee and Randel McGee, had distinct styles.

But the common thread that ran through all the stories was that they were told from the heart.

After every session and workshop, children rushed to talk to the storytellers.

We even overheard a young boy expressing his desire to become a storyteller.

Adults too were engrossed by the variety of tales told, which ranged from fantasy to those inspired from real life. And, no one was busy swiping their smart phones, for a change.

They were transported into the world of storytelling.

Diane Ferlatte

Born in Louisiana and a native of New Orleans, 70-year-old Diane told universal stories, from Aesop’s fables to fairytales with a twist. With her unflagging energy and natural ability to paint word pictures, without props, Diane was a favourite with children and adults.

Antonio Rocha

Born in Brazil, Antonio received a Partners of the America Grant to train under mime master Tony Montanaro. His forte lies in mime and storytelling, without the use of props. His baritone voice and larger-than-life on stage persona made him stand out. One powerful story that stood out from his stories was the one about a young boy lost in the Amazon forest, and encountering tigers, snakes and birds.

Craig Jenkins

A storyteller from UK, Craig has often come to India, and “loves” to tell Indian stories. His sense of humour and ability to make Indian stories universal characterised his storytelling style.

Jeff Gere

When Jeff tells a story it’s like watching a fast-paced movie. His facial expressions and emotive skills would leave you stunned. Jeff is a raconteur from Hawaii, and tells spooky to fantasy to real-life stories.

Jeeva Raghunath

Jeeva has an incredible stage presence. Founder-member of Kathai Kalatta, Jeeva has performed all over the world. She tells every kind of story -- from Indian to stories inspired by real life. She draws the audience into her stories, and engages with them powerfully.

Sheila Wee

Sheila takes the audience through a world of imagination. Without props, using only the power of words, she manages to hold the attention of the audience. In her last performance for the festival, Sheila told a legendary story of the founding of Singapore. It was amazing to see pin-drop silence among the children as she led them into different countries and cultures.

Randel McGee

Groark and Randel are inseparable. Randel, a ventriloquist and a storyteller, with his friend, Groark, tells multiple stories simultaneously. Randel uses props with ease, making his storytelling style multifaceted. When Groark strums the guitar and Randel sings, the story comes alive.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 8:19:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/meet-the-storytellers/article7625182.ece

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