Performing Storytelling

In media and business “storytelling” is a more and more known word used to promote a form of communication suitable to the dream-oriented society we live in. It refers to a communication strategy whose strengths lie on our perpetual need for stories.

“Storytelling”, though, is originally a word to identify a performing art. More precisely, the Storytelling Revival is a cultural movement started in the U.S in the late ’60 – with the aime of  studying, exploring and proposing the art of telling stories for a contemorary audience,   as an innovative yet archetypical way of entertainment. The pioneers of the storytelling movement felt that a strong action was needed to save the oral tradition from extinction under the threat of the “television monster”. In the following decades the Storytelling art  has been codified and practiced in many different variations throughout the world and now counts countless Festivals, clubs theatres and lovers all over the globe.

Storytelling is the art of comunicating through words, gestures, the modulation of voice and body language the images of a story to a specific audience. Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination.” (National Storytelling Network USA Federation for European Storytelling)

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In Italy storytelling is performed and studied by a small amount of performers, most of whom are related to Raccontamiunastoria, the first storytelling company in the country, created by storyteller Paola Balbi – who came across the Storytelling Movement and trained in England – and co-directed by Davide Bardi.

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For a decade Raccontamiunastoria perpetrated the art of oral narration all around the globe telling oral stories mainly linked with the Italian tradition, from the Bible to Decameron, from legends to family anecdotes.

I have the privilege of being part of this wonderful, challenging and mind blowing reality. Thanks to Raccontamiunastoria I got the chance to approach narration from a different point of view, yet still working with creating images and giving them to an audience. I face insecurities related to putting myself in the hand of my listeners and viewers and I discovered more about myself in these last months than I have done in all my life. I can’t really thank Paola, Davide and Raccontamiunastoria enough for that.

Since on Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th I will take part for the first time into an official Raccontamiunastoria performance, I wanted to share my happiness with you and invite all of those who may find themselves in Rome to attend. In the beautiful setting of Ancient Appia natural reserve, Ab Urbe Condita and the legends of the seven kings of Rome will be told during a suggestive stroll in the woods.

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There is not much more to say, since performative storytelling is an art that can be fully appreciated only when experienced live. It’s like a spell, it can be cast only on people who take part to it. So, I really hope to see you there.

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