SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

about storytellers and storytelling

Sorry to have flooded one and all with some terse verse!
I resume my musings on the art of storytelling. Story telling as you all know is an ancient art, and in India the oral tradition dates back to thousands of years. Even as far back as 15 to 20 years back grandparents were available (on demand!) to tell stories, ranging from religious to ribald. Now too, stories are told but not by humans, conveniently we have been replaced by electromagnetic waves.
Shove in the CD or the VCD and and children stay put for an hour or two.
Believe me I do it too, so I am not here to criticize anyone, my idea is to take you to the world of the story teller and try to project, how different the same story appears in the hands of an adept story teller.
So in this context I want to introduce you to an organization, unique in its role of training storytellers. Kathalaya is in Bangalore and they train interested personnel, from all walks of life, in the art of storytelling. After that the world is your stage!
(See my link to the same)
The lady who has started this organization Geeta Ramanujam has been in the field for many many years. The other person is Jeeva Raghunath from Chennai. Its interesting to note that both are Thamizh, though G.Ramanujam has domiciled in Bangalore for so long she is fluent in Kannada as well.
I have been searching for comprehensive sites of people working as storytellers in India, but find that time and again, only Kathalaya comes up.
Different art forms, like Yakshaganam, Kathakali, Koothu, use story telling, but what we are talking about is whether our modern day children can connect with this?
So here in lies contemporary storytelling, which is the narrative style using props, in a language that children can understand.
I will be back with more reviews on interesting story telling sites.