Storytelling workshop live sessions
Live Online Workshops
The live online workshops will be conducted on WiZiQ public & free events every Friday.
The following workshops will take place in a live online environment
|Storytelling and Culture|
Saturday, September 5, 2009
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Previous Live Events
You may access and watch the recordings of the previous events after April 17, 2009 on the audio and video section of the layout.
April 17, 2009
Our individual cultures define us. Sharing our culture with others helps us understand who we are and what makes us unique. Learning about the cultures of others strengthens our individual cultures and helps us appreciate the importance of all cultures in the history of mankind.
January 30, 2009
January 16, 2009
Agenda for January 16
Richard Green's participation will open with a discussion based on remarks made to him by the master storyteller, musician and teacher from England, Tony Wilson. Tony wrote Richard in an e-mail the following alarming statistic to be discussed at our session on January 16:
"In Britain less than 16% of children are read stories on more than two nights of the week. It shows in their understanding of conversation and ability to communicate when I'm [Tony Wilson] working with children in schools and nurseries and with young adults. I'm not evangelical about this. If anything it means more work for me, but I think it is a crying shame that people don't give themselves the opportunity to explore the rich culture of stories, customs, lifestyles and the sheer joy of being from all around the world that give us an understanding of ourselves and creative process."
After a discussion of this statistic in Britain (and elsewhere) and the implications this type of statistic holds for communication skills generally, our session, will continue with an analysis of Tony Wilson telling the Indian folktale, "The Tiger and the Brahmin," where a tiger is rescued from a cage by the Brahmin. When the tiger threatens to eat him, they decide to bring their case to a jury of their peers. The beggar (in other versions a fox, jackal), passes the final judgement.
"The Tiger and the Brahmin," is one of many jataka tales (stories based on the past lives of the Buddha). Versions of these stories also appear in Sanskrit in the Panchatantra, a collection of animal stories with morals and lessons.
As we watch Tony Wilson telling this story we will discuss how Tony's animated voice and diction and body language make the story and its lesson come alive. After discussing the dynamics of his reenactment of the story we will go to India to watch school children dramatize "The Tiger and the Brahmin."
In conclusion, Richard Green will lead a discussion on a story from China (and other countries) with a similiar plot and lesson, in this case, "The Fisherman and the Genie:"
Once upon a time there was an old fisherman. He went fishing very early every morning, but he never cast his net more than four times a day,
One morning, he went out early to the sea. He cast his net for the first time, and drew in the body of an old animal. He cast it a second time, and drew in an old basket full of sand. He cast it a third time, and drew in a lot of stones. It seemed he would have nothing to take home that morning.
Day had now broken, and he cast his net for the last time. After some time, he began to draw the net in. He found it was very heavy, but there were not any fish in it. Instead he found jar with a lid. He shook the jar, but could hear nothing, so he took off the lid and looked inside. He could see nothing either. After a while, a light smoke came slowly out of the jar. Then little by little, the smoke grew heavier and thicker until finally it turned into a terrible Genie!
"Get down on your knees," said the Genie, "for I'm going to kill you."
"Why? Didn't I set you free from the jar?"
"That's why I'm going to kill you, but I'll let you choose how you're going to die."
"Listen, and I will tell you my story," said the Genie.
"I was one of the spirits in heaven, but I did not want to obey Solomon's orders, so one day, he put me in this jar and threw it into the sea."
"During the first hundred years of my stay in the sea, I made a promise that if anyone set me free I would make him very rich, but no one came. During the second hundred years, I promised that if anyone set me free I would show him all the treasures in the earth, I promised that if anyone set me free, I would make him king over the earth."
"Still no one came. Then I became angry, and decided that if anyone should set me free I would kill him at once. Now you have come and set me free, so you must die, but I will let you say how you want to die."
The fisherman was not frightened. He said, "Since I must die, I must, but before I die, answer me one question."
"All right, but be quick."
"Were you really in the jar? You are so big and the jar is so small that it could hardly hold one of your feet."
"Of course I was in the jar. Don't you believe me?"
"No, and I won't until I've seen you in the jar with my own eyes."
When he heard this, the Genie changed into smoke. Slowly the smoke went back into the jar. When all of it was in the jar, the fisherman quickly put the lid on and threw it back into the sea.
END OF THE CHINESE FOLKTALE: "THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE"
To wrap up the discussion we will consider different ways that the lessons of the two folktales, "The Tiger and the Brahmin," and "The Fisherman and the Genie," address an education of feeling based on an article, "Stories that bring peace to the mind: Communication and the education of feelings," which you can access at the following URL:
As Tony Wilson noted in the opening remarks quoted from him again below:
"I think it is a crying shame that people don't give themselves the opportunity to explore the rich culture of stories, customs, lifestyles and the sheer joy of being from all around the world that give us an understanding of ourselves and creative process."
What have we learned further about themes that might be explored in a curriculum unit linked to these tales such as: right and wrong, selfishness, honesty, wisdom, trust, fairness, India, Nepal, China, England, and other countries from around the world, including those participating in the discussion on storytelling on January 16, 2009, with Nellie Deutsch and Richard Green.