Not the Same Old Story
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Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland brings back fond childhood memories of imagining Alice falling into a rabbit hole that transported her into the world of fantasy. On the other hand, the mention of European fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood takes us to the world of a girl wearing a red hooded cape, who travelled through the woods to give food to her sick grandmother. Stories are an integral part of any child's growing-up years. In that context, the two-day Kahaani Festival being held in the Capital will celebrate and preserve the art of storytelling.
Sanjoy Roy of Teamwork Productions, the organisers of the event, says, "We realised that there was very little happening for children and youngsters in the city. All of us remember the traditional art of storytelling through our grandmothers and cousins, when we needed no television or videogames to imagine and draw the sketch of characters. We wanted to create a platform for this incredible tradition."
The festival is the brainchild of Roy, and is being presented by Teamwork Productions in association with Pathways School, Noida, and Pratham Books. The event will explore the art of storytelling through puppetry, poetry and music, besides workshops and interactive sessions.
There will be a performance of Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, with an aim to develop interest among students in Bard's dramatic works.
Anirudh Nair, director of Wide Aisle Productions, the group which will present the play, says, "There will be music, fairies, magic and songs that will follow the story in the fashion of a Bollywood flick. The excerpts will be strung together by sutradhars, who will carry the thread of the plot and help make the text more accessible to the students."
Though the general perception is that with the advancement of technology, the habit of reading books has diminished, Nair points out that there is a positive side to this. "The art of storytelling is now transforming into new forms such as blogs, where people share their personal stories," he adds.
As part of the ongoing Oz Fest, a multimedia performance titled Saltbush will also be held at the venue, which will trace the journey of two friends through the diverse landscape of Australia. A touch-sensitive floor and infra-red imaging technology will be the highlight of this performance.