Nov 6: We’re In Kanchipuram

Our fifth day in India we moved on to a smaller city, Kanchipuram where we would be taking our storytelling exploration into the realm of more dramatic styles of storytelling: Kattaikkuttu.  This terminology created through the work of performer Rajagopal and Hannah deBruin is derived from a street theater storytelling called Therookuttu, traditionally used to dramatize excerpts from such epics as the Ramayana and Mahabharat. The Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam, or Kattaikkuttu…

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Nov 5: Bharatanatyam: Dancing Stories

STORYTELLING WITH BHARATANATYAM On our fourth day in India we took a workshop in the storytelling dance theater style of Bharatanatyam with Master Teacher Uma Ramesh.  Southern classical dance is well known for the full body approach to storytelling, from the shape of body posturing, the intricate hand mudras gestures, to the use of facial gestures expressed as “The Nine Emotions“, this form for centuries has depicted the stories of…

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Nov 4: Local Fishing Neighborhoods & Temples

WOMEN OF THE FISHING VILLAGES: While in Chennai we visited local coastal neighborhoods (or villages): Nochhikuppam and Ayodhakuppam.   These communities, like many along the Eastern seaboard were hard hit by the Tsunami several years ago where tens of thousands lost their lives. They’ve rebuilt again and though the government is hard pressed to relocate these communities, this life of fishing is all they know and to remove them from…

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Nov 2, 3, 4: Getting in the India Groove

WE ARE FINALLY HERE: INDIA! We have adjusted to the jetlag, the heat and fast clip of the first initial days of the trip. Indian food for breakfast and lunch then… you guessed it: Delicious Indian food for dinner!  We had better start getting used to spices as there are plenty here. SUNRISE LAUGHTER!: This morning many of us got up very early to catch the Laughing Yoga Club. These were…

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Getting ready for the India launch!

Well the moment of our travels to India is coming RIGHT up.  This journey will be an exciting program that engages 18 storytellers and story-lovers into the storytelling world of Chennai, India.  Along our itinerary we will be listening to storytellers, watch puppeteers, engage in movement theater workshops, meet the wonderful people of the rural and urban communities.  We’ve worked out everything from daily programs with Indian artists to ground…

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