Once upon a time… The Art of Story Telling




Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin….Storytelling – probably the oldest artistic expression in the book! In every tribe, in every land throughout time humans have told stories as a means of entertainment, education and to preserve their culture. The roots of this traditional practice lie in the very birth of language, way before the evolution of writing. The passing of stories from generation to generation was once the only way to record the history of a tribe or country and mark their important events. Even though we now have the technology to stash mountains of information and enough books to fill an ocean, the tradition of oral storytelling is cherished and there are thousands of professional storytellers world wide.
I met with two women who have created an internationally diverse storytelling group with the intention of keeping the spoken word very much alive here in Andalucia. They want to see the growth of a strong association of story tellers in this region.
 “Coloren Colorado ,” was formed in October 2008 by Belen and Marie-Louise Sahlberg, both of whom have a passionate love of stories and of sharing them. Born in Madrid , Belen Aguila moved to the Alpujarra over ten years ago. She has always been involved in theatre and particularly enjoyed working with monologues so for her storytelling was an obvious next step. Role playing, music, gestures and even costumes can all be used to bring a story to life. Belen tells stories in Spanish but uses tales from around the world. “The plazas of all Spanish cities and pueblos were used by storytellers, it was once the way of spreading news about what was happening in different parts of the country. I’d love to see storytellers back in the plazas of Andalucía!” Belen tells me. Marie-Louise was born in and is a trained Eurythmy teacher who has worked within Waldorf schools and with children with learning difficulties all of her life. Six years ago she began to focus on storytelling as a healing art and has used stories within her work with great success.
“Stories have a unique way of mirroring what we may be experiencing, things that are not always easy to deal with or understand.” She wants to see storytellers of the region come together and get this art back into the culture.
Kevin Walker is a professional storyteller living in the North of Malaga who has begun to work with Spanish teachers in order to get storytelling into schools as a way of improving both language and storytelling skills. His stories are from many different cultures including . He tells me how many traditional Spanish stories have a historical theme running through them, telling legends of particular events in particular areas.
Perhaps this art is all the more special in the light of children spending endless hours plugged into films and computers. Storytelling stimulates the imagination as opposed to stifling it. Kevin sums up the magic of this ancient tradition beautifully when he says, “Stories grab the soul of whoever you’re talking to, children and adults alike.” After all everyone’s got a story to tell! 
If you are interested in workshops, performances or if you want to share a story contact:

marielouisesa@yahoo.se  658 458 166  Belen Aguila  otumbaz@yahoo.com

“World Storytelling Day is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. It is celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and on the first day of autumn equinox in the southern, so look out for events near you!”

Kevin Walker 952 71 90 10 www.bardictraditions.com
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This post is also available in: Spanish

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