“Once upon a time…” immediately draws a person, young or old into a tradition of storytelling. Stories are treasures that engage and transport us into an enchanting world.
Gyaan Adab since its inception in January 2014 has consistently tried to put together very interesting cross genre programs. The centre recently introduced a unique concept of a story tour as an attempt at creating a moving literary entertainment space.
In a divided world, culture and the creative experience become important nurturing ways by which we can encourage a common sharing that transcends boundaries. Gyaan Adab’s Story Tour tried in an intimate way to rediscover our common heritage through folk tales, myths and legends. The stories that were retold on the tour were drawn from traditional communities from all over the world. Though they had emerged from diverse sources, their similarities were apparent. This is because they have essentially all come down to us from the depths of time where boundaries did not exist and our planet was a common space for the traffic of thoughts, ideas, feelings, journeys and discoveries.
The stories that were told were from traditional communities belonging to far-flung places on our planet – the Native Americans, the Incas, Mayas, Bushmen, the great Norse travellers, the shepherds of the lower Himalayas, the Mullukurumba hunters, the Bhils, the Santhals, the Muriyas, the Mariyas, the Gonds and a host of others – relived and shared in the language of today, fresh, vibrant, excitingly new.
And of course, finally, the purpose of The Story Tour was to create a travelling space of entertainment that celebrates the magical art of storytelling.
These stories were retold and performed by award winning poet, author and folklorist Randhir Khare who has for the last four decades travelled extensively, collecting stories and song-poems from traditional communities and has spent valuable time bringing them to us in a language that is vibrantly new and dramatic. He has published and performed these stories and song-poems and reached out to a wide audience, captivating listeners by his stylistic flight of language and drama.
The First Performance at Gyaan Adab Centre – Stories of Creation
Saturday, July 19, 2014
The first performance which was at Gyaan Adab was met with an overwhelming response. It was attended by listeners of all ages, the youngest being 6 years and the oldest being 90 years old. Objects collected by Mr. Khare from his travels across the globe, were displayed at the centre, among these were arrows and interesting sacred statuettes.
The repertoire of stories included ancient tales from the Bhils, the North American natives, the Incas and the Chinese.
At the Loft (Camp) – Heroes & Heroines
Saturday, July 26, 2014
The second performance of the story tour, which was in collaboration with the Loft brought alive Eternal Love Stories from various cultures like the native Ameriacan, Japanese, the Eskimos and the Todas. Mr. Randhir Khare started the performance with a Native American story of The Boy Magician. Khushru Irani, the founder of The Loft, with his support and involvement made this collaborative effort a pleasurable and successful experience with a promise of more such creative collaborations in the near future.
At The Culture Centre (Mundhwa) – Magical Moments that Change the World
Saturday, August 2, 2014
The third performance of the story tour was held at The Culture Centre (TCC) in Mundhwa. The very co-operative and enthusiastic staff at TCC helped us ensure a successful evening of stories from Australia, South America, India and a host of other cultures. Mr. Khare entered with his signature lantern, hat and stick and enchanted the audience with Magical Stories that Changed the World, Sories like, ‘The Tale of the Banyan Tree’ from South Asia.
At The British Council Library, Pune (Fergusson College Road) – When Good Triumphed
Saturday, August 9, 2014
The fourth performance of the story tour was put together in association with BCL, Pune. Mr. Khare performed old English stories mirrored in folk tales of other cultures. These were tales of adventure about giants, witches, magical toads, the boy who became Lord Mayor of London, the farmer who married the princess and other impossibilities… all the way from old Britain, retold in an exciting new way, which enthralled and entertained.
At Shisha Café (Koregaon Park) – Eternal Love Stories
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Ancient tales from around the world of Eternal Love Stories were brought alive and retold in a solo performance by Mr. Randhir Khare at Shisha Café. The dimly lit open environment of the Café added to the mood of the romantic stories. Mr. Khare began with a delightful story of a monkey who aspired to marry a beautiful girl. As the evening progressed the stories turned more romantic and eventually the performance ended with a heart-warming Persian story of two separated lovers – one turned into a pihu bird and the other into rain.
At Pagdandi (Baner) – Great Journeys
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Gyaan Adab collaborated with Pagdandi – Books Chai Café to present a shared experience of our past, beyond boundaries, beyond differences through the Story Tour. The stories of Great Journeys brought alive the trials, tribulations and the joy of arrival. The stories performed were from the Todas, the Katkaris, Bhils, the North American Natives, the Norse people and from other cultures. Vishal and Neha Pipraiya the owners of Pagdandi Café made the collaborative effort a grand success with their enthusiasm and participation. We eagerly look forward to more collaborations with the dynamic duo in the future.
The Finale at Gyaan Adab Centre – Ends and Beginnings
Thursday, August 28, 2014
After 6 enthralling performances in various parts of the city of Pune, The Story Tour came to a dramatic close. Gyaan Adab presented Ends & Beginnings, the final show of the Story Tour which relived folktales from around the world to a packed house. Many participants travelled with us to all locations in Pune and finally attended the last session at Gyaan Adab.
But it is not the end. A whole new world of story-telling possibilities has been revealed.