When: 24-26 February, 2017
Where: Udaipur, Rajasthan
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Despite a small start, Udaipur Tales, a 3 Day International Storytelling Festival, hosted in Udaipur the ‘Venice of the East’, brought together a variety of traditions—from a Russian folk ensemble, to shamanic storytelling and dastangoi.
Set against the stunning backdrop of Udaipur, the first of its kind, the Udaipur Tales Festival celebrated both, storytelling as well as the storytellers. The festival aspires to give Indian and International storytellers a platform to enlighten, engage, educate, and entertain the audience through the stories they tell. The first edition of three-day Udaipur Tales Festival kicked off on 24 February, 2017 in Gulab Bagh in Udaipur. Presented by MA- My Anchor Foundation the festival witnessed a host of wonderful storytellers including Shantanu Guha Ray, Gautam Mukerjee, VarunNarain, Nadzeda and Team and Fouzia Dastango who mesmerized the audience through a plethora of genres including fantasy, detective, historical and real life. The story sessions started with interaction of local schoolchildren with Varun Narain – The Puppeteer and the Russian troupe. The sessions engaged in singing, dancing and playing traditional Russian folk musical instruments for the kids and Varun’s exotic puppets brought to life the dialectic between fantasy and reality. The evening session, Gautam Mukerjee took the audience on a historically significant journey of Padmavati, leaving them gasping for more.
From a strong female character to a strong female storyteller, Fouzia Dastango’s session was a seamless transition. Being the first woman of Dastangoi, she adapted from a tragi-comic sketch full of dark humour, Nanniki Naanione of Ismat Chughtai’s most moving pieces of writing. Shantanu Guha Ray gripped the audience with his rendition of Urban Murder — real life detective stories. Sushmita Shekhar, director of Udaipur Tales Festival said, “Hearing childhood stories from my grandmother to getting inspiration from the story of Chetak, it is exhilarating to interact with these wonderful storytellers, right here in our very own city of Udaipur. Udaipur Tales Festival is a heartfelt effort to provide a platform for the community of passionate storytellers, bringing alive the real impact of stories on individuals and cultures. The intent is to gradually take Udaipur Tales Festival across India and abroad.”