Dubai: Dubai is all set to have a Storytelling Café. To be launched on March 17, ahead of the World Storytelling Day three days later, it vows to bring storytelling back to adult audiences in the UAE.
An initiative of Compagnia di Storytelling Raccontamiunastoria in conjunction with Constellation Productions, the café aims at raising a new generation of storytellers in the UAE, Paola Balbi, director of the Storytelling Company told XPRESS.
A professional storyteller, classical actress and intercontinental yachtswoman from Italy, Balbi said she and her stage partner Davide Bardi felt compelled to revive storytelling as it has long been forgotten.
She said, “We felt it was very important because people are losing the ability to communicate. They find it difficult to look at someone in the eye and talk to them. Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination. It involves the modulation of voice and body language.”
She said, “The Café, a monthly initiative, will offer an evening of relaxation and fun, where you can sit and let yourself be transported to the magic world of ‘Once Upon a time’ by the words, songs and music of professional storytellers. If someone in the audience wants to share a story of transformation, they too will get a chance.”
Balbi said storytelling is the art of telling stories to an audience without reading from a book or reciting by heart. “The key is to make the story alive and fresh every time in a different way and with different words according to the audience. The international movement of the Storytelling Revival aims to bring the oral tradition of all cultures back to life through performances of stories by skilled professional storytellers. Storytelling is the most ancient and authentic way of transmitting culture, values and understanding.”
Both Balbi and Bardi are trained actors and professional storytellers. Artistic directors of the Italian Raccontamiunastoria Storytelling Company and the International Storytelling Festival of Rome, as well as Storytelling Time (Bolzano), they brought their expertise to the UAE directing Tales on the Island - International Storytelling Festival in Sharjah,which was attended by 3,800 people.