“Katha’koli” Storytelling Workshop: An inner voyage through storytelling facilitated by Janardan Ghosh & Pradip Chatterjee .
Just imagine living in a world without mirrors. You’d dream about your face and imagine it as an outer reflection of what is inside you. And then, when you reached forty, someone would put a mirror before you for the first time in your life. Imagine your fright ! You’d see the face of a stranger. And you’d know quite clearly what you are unable to grasp : the face is not you.
– Milan Kundera from ‘Immortality’
That stories must have emotions, plots, structures, voice and conflicts – are possibly known to many. Katha’koli storytelling ways, are about not only creating the ruptures ‘within’ to emerge with stories, but in the ways to make the stories resonate with the audience – to etch this intercourse as memorable, disruptive and emotional.
Kathakoli storytelling workshops aims at creating a community of storytellers for whom storytelling is a means of personal and social transformation. Using methods from theater, music & movement based exercises, the workshop helps the participants to dig deep within themselves and emerge with stories which lead to a process of personal transformation and realization of their potential as agents of social change.
You will also be able to access important and relevant resources which will help you constantly develop as a storyteller.
Although storytelling helps greatly in the business and social world, and this workshop and the more advanced forms of it which will follow , also has insights from the business world – people, who are trainers, corporate storytellers also will make guest appearance, yet, the katha’koli platform goes beyond this – it’s about making life more meaningful immediately and constantly transform it towards the one you would like to lead.
Note from Janardan Ghosh
Whoever learns the work by heart/
Or through the storyteller’s art/
His life by sad defeat-although/
The king of heaven be his foe- /
is never tainted.
Katha’Koli: A Storytelling to churn ones belief system…. to know who you are, where you are, when you are and how you are connected with the World and your own Self? It’s Shamanic, Priest like, Saintly… to be immersed in the Truth of your own.
It’s an experience of being the magical teller of your imagination and equip yourself for the vicissitudes of life. Be prepared for an intense, immersive and liberating wayfare ….
7th floor, Air Conditioned Market, 1, Shakespeare Sarani Rd, Kolkata – 700071
April 27 , 2019 (Saturday) : 11 am – 3 pm
April 28, 2019 (Sunday) : 11 am – 3 pm
Fees : Rs 2500
Call + 91 8697919308 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Other contacts : 9830260233 | 8420952223 | 9073223854
Watch Janardan Ghosh explain Katha’koli Storytelling at TEDx @ NUJS
Few reviews for the Katha’koli Storytelling Workshop
” Earlier this month I had participated in another workshop of Story Telling organised by Cultural Monks. It was a wonderful experience, learnt a lot. Thank u culture Monks. You are doing a great work for the community”. – Lipika
“Wanted to thank you with all my heart. It was indeed one of its kind cathartic experience for me”. – participant from Kathakoli storytelling workshop
― Alakanda Chatterjee
So these are my biggest takeaways from the workshop.
1.) The importance of warmup before any performance. This can be applied to any area in life. Eg: Everyday is a performance for me personally , so I do 15 mins of breathing based guided meditation daily; first thing in the morning before I start the day. This practice was reinforced & validated through the lessons during the workshop as I clearly felt more relaxed and “in the flow” after performing them.
2.) Through the critiquing session feedback, it was very clear that I had a lot of work to do on my editing skills while structuring any narrative. As I mentioned in the workshop, I have been repeatedly told this before, by many of my mentors, friends & colleagues. I’ve made improvements in this domain from the past but obviously I’m still a work in progress!! This workshop was an important reminder to spend more time on my editing chops!!
3.) ( This one is completely my personal viewpoint ) The most important story that you’ll tell is your OWN. The more comfortable we get owning up our OWN LIFE STORY, with all it’s imperfections, blemishes & vulnerabilities; the more we can connect authentically with others. We as humans, crave connection over concepts. We prefer the Raw & Real over Polished & Processed. We embrace simplicity over sophistication. In fact as someone famous said, ” Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
I put this to practice intentionally through my tasks at the workshop. Did the authenticity resonate with you folks? That part can only be answered by you! Let me know.
I would love to hear from the other participants about their personal experiences. And from the mentors / masters as well. Thank You.
Sudhasheel Sen ( Creative Director ) , Cogfree Advertising
More About the Methodology and Facilitators
Hollywood is the most influential storyteller in the world today. Thereafter we are usurped by the magical stories of Indian Cinema. Therefore, we can claim that Storytelling is still a surviving traditional art. We have been successful in preserving and sustaining a part of intangible heritage and a specific trend of socio-cultural traditions pertaining to humanity across the globe- the art of storytelling. Moreover, it is impossible to survive without stories. It is an irresistible psycho-somatic urge transmitted to our body and mind through genes from our ancestors. We are consistently building stories and dissolving them in our existential matrix. News, corporate talks, gossips, lessons, messages and chats are but stories in various forms satisfying our daily art of living. Plays, cinema, dance, music and such other forms of art are dynamic versions of storytelling. We propose to go back to the basics. Learn the art of storytelling irrespective of your professions and passions.
Storytelling enables experiences to be made meaningful and is thus an important part of our miraculous being. Telling stories assists individuals to engage in sense-making about their experiences, to order events in a coherent fashion, relate events to other events and attribute causality. In short, storytelling is a key way in which memories are organized and articulated. Furthermore, as a ubiquitous, everyday practice, storytelling has other functions, especially in relation to religion, customs, faith, belief and identity: it creates and sustains communities and reproduces culture. It is essential.
The workshop primarily aims to provoke the participants to explore their inner world of creativity and shape a community of people who have shared visions. Secondly, it would help the takers to locate the germ of storytelling in them. The few tenets of our workshop modules:
1. The language of Dreaming
“How far our dreaming is drifting from popular consciousness? Storytellers are engaged, in trying to understand all that makes up our society’s dreaming.”
2. Feeling the story on the page
“A story on a page is like a drum in a museum display case. You can see what it looks like but until the glass is broken, the drum liberated and the skin beaten, you do not know what it sounds like – and of course the music emerging from it will be different according to the temperament and skill of the drummer. The task of contemporary revival storytellers is to free the stories from the page and return them to a fluid, transitory life on the wind.”
3. Links in chains that span centuries
“Traditional storytellers also bear witness to continuity. They are always aware of their marginality, the place of in- between, which is also the place of linking. Storytellers are humble participants in chains of communication which can span vast geographical and temporal distance.”
4. Learning to listen
“The thread which the audience follows and which the storyteller uses to bind them is a current of attentive energy. Listening to the reading of a text demands a more active attention because there is no stopping or going back. Listening to a live storyteller is different again.”
5. New resonances from old metaphors
“At the heart of the stories is the consistent affirmation of the presence and action of numinous forces – helpers and hinderers, witches, dwarfs, giants, gods and goddesses. As these stories unfold, there emerge patterns and sequences of events that are both startling and satisfying as the old language of metaphors finds resonance in the archaic subconscious of the listeners.”
6. Mapping the Inner World
“The relative rarity of resonant image-making in contemporary Indian art is striking. Is our collective dream organ malnourished or has all its energy been sold to the world of advertising where imagination is cynically used – or abused – to conceal rather than reveal the truth in order to sell lies? Probably both. It is as if, in popular consciousness, the vocabulary and grammar of the language of the soul have been forgotten. Maybe the soul itself has been forgotten. Storytelling would revive the language of the soul.”
Content of the Workshop
a. The art of Listening and types of listening
b. History and philosophy of storytelling
c. Textures of storytelling
d. The art of telling – Voice and Movement; Sound and Images.
a. The Self and the other: Reflections, activities, observations
b. The merging: Inter-texuality and referential points
c. Story and more: The craft work (videos, other art forms, and use of props)
About Janardan Ghosh
Janardan Ghosh is an actor & theatre director, storyteller and a playwright from Kolkata, who has been experimenting with both forms and themes in his performances. Indeed much of the past work has explored the themes of spirituality, myth, gender, sexuality and society. he is currently completing his doctorate in ´Performance and Shri Ramakrishna from the Ramakrishna Mission University. Janardan Ghosh has trained and worked with several international and national theatre and film directors and is a critically acclaimed theatre practitioner in contemporary Bengal.
Pradip Chattopadhyay is musician, performer & a sound artist. He has been the founding member of Ḿohiner Ghoraguli´ which has been an iconic rock band in Bengal. An civil engineer by training, he has traveled the world to perform and work. He is a prolific performer and is passionate about his experiments & research in sound and performance.