“Katha’koli” Workshops: A voyage Beyond Storytelling
Weekend workshops for Beginners, Performers, Professionals, Teachers, and Connoisseurs.
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.”
Our workshop has three levels:
3. Need based
1. Beginners (two weekends)
The course will cover the basics of storytelling and skills for telling traditional tales, creating spontaneous stories and an introduction to Katha-koli form of stories.
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)
2. Advanced (two consecutive weekends)
For professional storytellers and those who have completed the beginners course. To understand the effect resulting from both the process of the telling and the content of the tale. To give attention to the voice which carries every telling. We will explore the tools to transform the voice and provide range, colour, dynamism and truth to it. To use the body more to create idiomatic images. To explore the other creative, avant-garde art forms to enrich the art form.
a. The Narrative and the narrated time
b. Gestures, mime, dance, space dynamics. Expert trainer
c. Voice training (Sound and Body) Expert trainer.
a. Historicity : Evolution of storytelling
b. Experiencing Storytelling: The inner mapping
c. Introducing other art forms in storytelling (collaborative art)
3. Need Based Storytelling
For school teachers, children, students, corporate executives, actors and housewives. Or any other specific need.