Reviving the art of storytelling

Updated - February 06, 2016 05:34 am IST

Published - February 06, 2016 12:00 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The British Council has been promoting the ancient yet revived art of storytelling in India since 2011 as part of Kathakar — the International Storytellers Festival.

The Council is now organising “The Art of Storytelling India Tour 2016”, that will bring some of the best storytellers from the U.K. to the city to showcase the U.K.’s creativity in the area of storytelling to young learners and cultural enthusiasts.

Storytelling underwent a revival in the 1980s in the U.K. and is used not only in schools today but also in galleries, museums, theatres and on radio for both children and adult audiences there.

British Council India director Rob Lynes said: “It is our endeavour to promote art forms and share this expertise with India and showcase the contemporary style of storytelling. This vibrant art form has its roots in India dating back to centuries and is indeed a great tool to bridge the knowledge gap, promote learning and knowledge outside the classroom via various art forms.”

Some of the performers that will visit the city include Emily Hennessey, a performance storyteller who tells myths, legends, epics, folktales, fairy tales and fables from around the world. With a Swedish background, Emily also loves to tell Scandinavian folktales and Norse mythology. Her three-day performance at the IGNCA began on Friday.

Tim Ralphs, an active exponent of narrative in art who performed on Friday, will continue his act on Saturday. His storytelling is rooted in the oral tradition — the craft of a speaker weaving language and gestures to entrance an audience and bring a tale to life.

Giles Abbott, who started storytelling in 1999 in response to sudden and serious but not total loss of sight in 1998, will perform on Saturday and Sunday. He will also hold a workshop on Monday at the British Council.

Giles was awarded a British Telecom Speaking & Listening Award for a project undertaken for Dubasha Foundation, using storytelling as mechanism by which children of third generation Guajarati descent were enabled to dramatically increase their confidence, pride and attainment in their bilingual ability.

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