“The inner, what is it, if not the intensified sky ?” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Katha’Koli Storytelling platform presents ākāśa

A live online workshop which traces the relationality (relation and differences) between tradition and our being. A space which fosters intercultural dialogue and seeking an immersive storytelling experience.

This workshop is conducted by Janardan Ghosh.

Enquiry form

or email sudipta@culturemonks.in

About the workshop

ākāśa is a workshop where we work on ways of assimilating our cultural memory into our current context. Using the vast treasury of performance rituals and methods as laid down in Natyshastra, we find the relationality between our past & explore current contexts – personal, social, political, etc.

Through this workshop we also seek to adapt folk tales for various applications including pedagogy, therapy, business, social issues, etc.

Unearth the creator & teller/performer of stories through a practice based on the scriptures of Natyashastara. This workshop is open to everyone and prior experience in performance or any performing arts practice is not necessary.

The objective of the workshop is to connect the participant with their expressive and creative faculties and make them more confident and effortless at presenting and performing. This workshop also acts as a stepping stone for actor training.


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.

The on line module consists of live lectures, access to videos, reading materials and suggested books, assessment and certification.

About Janardan Ghosh

Janardan Ghosh is a practicing storyteller actor and theatrician for the past 25 years. He has worked in various capacities in several arts, theatre and film projects around the world. He holds a doctorate from the RKMVERI.

Upcoming Batches

Choose any one suitable batch

Sunday (most suitable for Australia/New Zealand, others may join too)

July 3, 9, 16, 2023 from 2 pm – 4:30 pm (Melbourne time)

Saturday Batch (most suitable for Africa, Americas, Canada, Europe)

May 13, 20, 27, 2023 from 5 pm – 7:30 pm (Universal Time) i.e 12 pm – 2:30 pm (New York time)

June 17, 24 & July 1, 2023 from 5 pm – 7:30 pm (Universal Time) i.e 12 pm – 2:30 pm (New York time)

Sunday Batch (most suitable for India , Africa, Asia, certain time zones in Australia USA & Europe)

June 18, 25 & July 2, 2023 from 5 pm – 7:30 pm (India time) i.e 11:30 am – 2 pm (Universal Time)

July 16, 23 & 30, 2023 from 5 pm – 7:30 pm (India time) i.e 11:30 am – 2 pm (Universal Time)

Upcoming ākāśa performances & news

Participants speak

“Was great, and really mind triggering :)” – Michaela Broeckx

“Great. Thanks a ton. Your work is wonderful and you conducted it very well. Thanks a ton. There is a higher power doing all this” – Vanitha Muthukumar

” 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.

Personal Learnings:
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 Katha’koli Storytelling

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.

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.”

a brief interview with janardan ghosh by rijita chatterjee

A Brief Interview with Janardan Ghosh by Rijita Chatterjee in The Year 2010 for Surrey University Rijita – Mr. Ghosh, first let me start with a very fundamental question: when and how did you get into theatre? Janardan – There was a familiar desire to take part in my school’s annual plays which initiated me…


Sahakārīkathāmālā is like performers and non-performers playing together, jointly (sahakari) stringing story-beads (katha) on a thread (mala), bringing together their experiences, feelings, and emotions of life-including-work, in a community-bound narrative.

why storytelling is important

why storytelling is important in business

why storytelling is important in marketing

why storytelling works

why storytelling matters

why storytelling is important for preschoolers

why storytelling is important to a child

why storytelling is powerful

how storytelling affects the brain

how storytelling is important

how storytelling can change the world

how storytelling heals

how storytelling started

how storytelling makes us human

how storytelling is shaping the automotive industry

how storytelling helps students

are storytelling and speaking the same thing

what are storytelling techniques

humans are storytelling animals

what are storytelling elements

what are storytelling strategies

what are storytelling devices

we are storytelling creatures

we are storytelling animals


5 thoughts on “ākāśa : a workshop on contemporary retelling & performance of folk tales

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s