FEST Online symposium: Professionalising the Storyteller
9 - 10 June 2021
FEST is working to enhance the visibility and the recognition of storytelling as a performing art. We wish to contribute to the professional development of storytellers through a European approach, using different methods such as the analysis of training needs, residencies and performance opportunities for young storytellers and continued professional development for established storytellers.
According to research most storytelling training today happens through informal and non-formal practice. Very few institutions offer formal storytelling education/training. The research also showed that most of the non-formal and informal training are at basic skills level and that there is a lack of theoretical backing for storytelling training at the higher levels. FEST created an international team of experts to pick up this challenge, through surveys, in-depth interviews, online and live meetings/discussions, deskresearch and communication on different platforms.
The team created a competence model for oral storytelling and organised a master class for storytelling trainers on competence-based training and learning, in cooperation with SAMWD Lier, BE. Two oral storytelling pilot courses were organised, a first one on “Working with Stereotypes and Traditional Tales’, in cooperation with the University of Arts in Berlin, DE and the second one: “Oral Storytelling and Artistic Research” in cooperation with Oslo Metropolitan University, NO.
Fest wants to open-up the discussions and developments by organising this online symposium. Next to presenting the outcomes of our work we also welcome experts from different disciplines and education/training sectors working on related topics. This symposium will address the varied collaborative and individual working situations of contemporary oral storytellers.
A story to start the day by Clare Murphy
The key question to be answered in this presentation is what does it take to train story tellers, or to support them in their further development as story tellers. To find these answers Jaap van Lakerveld will first explain the essentials of competence-oriented learning. Competence oriented learning will be explained in the historical context of views on learning. Furthermore, given the target group of story tellers, he will focus on the specific characteristics of adult learning. From the views on learning and characteristics of adult learning implications for teaching and training will be derived. Eventually the concept of competence development will be related to story telling and vice versa. The basic views on learning and the role of storytelling as a vehicle for learning, as well as the development of the competences a storyteller needs to acquire, will be touched upon. Stories, storytelling, as well as learning to tell stories are presented as rich learning for professional personalised, experiential social and constructive learning.
This presentation is an introduction to the world of competence frameworks and European qualifications frameworks, and sheds light on how competence-based teaching and learning can benefit the field of oral storytelling. Naturally we take the newly developed competence framework and EQF levels for oral storytelling as a starting point!
Stretch your legs and grab a coffee, we're starting again in 15 minutes
The FEST Competences for Storytelling describe the qualities of an excellent storyteller. They guide us as professional storytellers and give direction to beginning storytellers. They are a wonderful framework, but is there a way to break these qualities down into workable, manageable goals? Can we quantify these qualities to help us continue to grow and develop as storytellers?
School teachers have to break broad standards down into measurable criteria to assess student performance. Managers must do the same for employee evaluations. Any goal must be broken down into manageable, measurable steps if it is to be achieved. How can we storytellers do the same for ourselves? How do we translate the domains of the FEST model into observable criteria? By developing such a rubric, we can give ourselves and each other specific feedback in order to improve our on-stage performance.
Susan McCullough will share her experiences as a storyteller and teacher with using different methods to assess storytelling performance in various settings: assessing her own performances, workshopping stories with peers, and assessing storytelling students. She will offer an EQF-style rubric she has developed which incorporates various components of the Research, Craftsmanship, Art, and Performance domains of the FEST competence model.
Time fascinates me. It is omnipresent, fundamental to our human experience, not graspable, but perceivable through changes happening around us and in us. It becomes experienceable through narration. As Recoeur says: „… „time becomes human to the extent that it is articulated through a narrative mode” (Scheffel et al., 2013/14, Time). This is more than valid for oral storytelling. But what challenges and opportunities does time offer as an artistic expression in oral storytelling to make it perceivable? In a performance lecture based on my artistic research project about time I will look at my work 2 from three different perspectives and characters: The scholar talks about different aspects of time (story time, discourse time, narrating time [Scheffel et al., 2013/14, Time], different time layers, 3 seeming contemporaneity, kairos, eternity, rhythm etc.). The storyteller tells pieces of four stories intertwined with each other. The spectator and listener looks from outside at the performance and the lecture commenting on them in a critical and humorous way.
Keywords: time, seeming contemporaneity, making time perceivable
Author (2020). Don’t Be Afraid of My Stony Face [post-reflection paper]. Oslo Metropolitan University.
Dowling, W. (2011). Time. In Ricoeur on Time and Narrative: An Introduction to Temps et récit (pp. 19-36). Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. Scheffel, M., Weixel, A., Lukas, W. (2013/2014): Time. In P. Hühn et al. (eds.) The living handbook of narratology. Hamburg: Hamburg University. Retrieved from 02.10.2020 http://www.lhn.uni-hamburg. de/.
Enjoy some fresh air and a lovely meal, let's refuel for the final sessions of today
Abbi Patrix - My background Is experimental Theatre.
When the storytelling movement starter I thought it was a great opportunity to research a new artform. So I led some LABOS in France and Europe to create conditions of experimentation. I tried some protocols with storytellers in order to understand better what can be storytelling today. The Labo is aptly named, it is a true laboratory that aims to make the storyteller appear, and from there, the tale.
For me the masterclass we led for Fest and Oslomet is the following of that movement well named artistic research. I shall explain the path we had with Heidi Dahlsveen, luis Carmelo and the students.
Heidi Dahlsveen - Artistic research and oral storytelling
Artistic research is practice-based and practice-driven research within contemporary cultural and artistic fields (Hannula, Suoranta, & Vadèn, 2005). This academic disiplin stems, among other things, from the fact that art was established within higher education. Artists are employed at universities and colleges, and it is natural that they bring their aesthetic experience into academia. There has also arisen a need for artistic concepts to be theory-driven in interaction with the practical (Mäkelä, Nimkulrat, Dash, & Nsenga, 2011). This in turn is due to an expectation that art should mean something more to society than “just being art”. However, it does not mean that knowledge is embedded in the art work itself, having an aesthetical experience of hearing a story is not enough. The artistic researcher must also reflect on the knowledge and disseminate this beyond the work of art (Roes & Pint). Artistic research is often about researching parts of or the art work itself, its process and implementation (Borgdorff, 2010). This research is dominated by methodological pluralism (Serig, 2012) and it is important that the knowledge it brings is conveyed beyond the actual production of art. Henk Borgdorff argues that artistic research is to think about, through and with art, but not only that, artistic research opens up new ways of thinking academia (Borgdorff, 2010). This presentation is based on the question: what opportunities and challenges lie in combining oral storytelling with artistic research? Through practical examples, participants will gain insight into how a process of artistic research and oral storytelling takes place.
Mäkelä, M. N.-X. (2011). On Reflecting and Making in Artistic Research. Journal of Research Practice Vol. 7, Issue 1.
Borgdorff, H. (2010). The production of knowledge in artistic research. I M. Biggs, & H. Karlsson, The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts (ss. 44-63). Routledge Ltd.
Hannula, M., Suoranta, J., & Vadèn, T. (2005). Artistic Research - theories, Methods and Practices. Helsinki: Academy of Fine Arts.
Serig, D. (2012). Doing Artistic Research r. research review VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2.
Tales of the beginnings of things; from gods, to curses and traditions. This evening will be a mix of myth, folklore and legend
Keywords: storytelling, precarity, flickering
Dr. Jaap van Lakerveld
Educational psychologist . Since 1986 he is Director of PLATO, a research centre of the University of Leiden. He is active in various international projects throughout Europe and beyond. In recent years he was actively involved in EU projects in the field of competence oriented learning and professional development. Throughout his career he included three main areas of interest in his work, one was competence oriented learning in schools, or in non-formal and informal learning settings, another was professional learning and development of teachers, trainers and educator; the third theme is evaluation. Competence oriented learning projects in which he was involved in, focused on entrepreneurship, key competences of lifelong learning, and competence development in storytelling. His experience brought him in many projects and networks in which he could share and create knowledge in the field of educational sciences and more particularly in teaching and learning in various formal, non formal and informal settings.
Clare Murphy - Storyteller
Dublin born storyteller Clare Murphy has told stories worldwide since 2006. She tells for all ages on all kinds of stages. She has performed in more than 20 countries to audiences of 5 - 5000 people. Her work ranges from science-stories like UniVerse to socio-political pieces like The King of Lies to her beloved Irish mythology. She has had the honour of performing for President Mary Robinson as well as at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“masterly storytelling – all delivered at a pace which meant there was never a dull moment”.
“Clare Muireann Murphy’s beautiful lilting Irish voice was in stark contrast to the darkly humorous stories she told us, and she her first-rate comic physicality only served to enhance her storytelling.”
Joseph Daniel Sobol, Ph.D - Moderator
Joseph Daniel Sobol, Ph.D. is Director of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of South Wales. From 2000-2017 he led the Graduate Program in Storytelling at East Tennessee State University, He is the author of The Storytellers’ Journey: An American Revival, a history of the American storytelling movement, and Liars, Damn Liars, and Storytellers: Essays on Traditional and Contemporary Storytelling..
Born in Manchester and raised by Jamaican parents, Jan Blake has been performing worldwide for thirty-five years. Specialising in stories from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Arab regions, she has a well-earned reputation for dynamic and generous storytelling.
Highlights include being resident storyteller at Hay Festival, curating Shakespeare’s Stories, in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, winning the Thuringer Märchen & Sangen Preis and touring the award-winning ‘The Old Woman, the Buffalo, & the Lion of Manding’ about the Malian hero king Sundiata Keita. This show was originally commissioned for FaTE in 2009 and for which she the won 2013 BASE Outstanding Adaptation of a Classical Piece with musicians Kouame & Raymond Sereba.
Jan has recently launched an online storytelling community; a space for dialogue, development of storytelling as a performing art and the exploration of storytelling as a tool for transformational change, https://akua-
Guy Tilkin, has been European project manager and director of the Landcommanderij Alden Biesen (BE), an international culture and conference centre, based in a historic castle.
26 years ago, he started an international storytelling festival that grew to become the biggest festival in Europe, unique in the world in its multilingual approach. He also has been the coordinator of a series of European projects under the Lifelong Learning, Creative Europe and Erasmus+ programmes and gained special know how on e.g. applied storytelling, heritage interpretation, heritage competence development and validation of non-formal learning.
Guy Tilkin is the chair of board of FEST, the Federation for European Storytelling. At present he also is a member of the European Commission Expert Group on Cultural Heritage.
Ragnhild A. Mørch
Ragnhild A. Mørch trained in directing, physical theatre and storytelling, and has worked in live arts since 1996. Her projects include storytelling for BBC’s Music Live event, direction of large scale outdoor performances in Norway and England, drama teaching and play writing. Since 2005 she is a full time storyteller and focuses on storytelling as performance art both as a performer and as a trainer. She is Artistic Manager of the course “Storytelling in Art and Education” at the Berlin University of the Arts and co-curator of the bilingual storytelling series at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin. Over a period of four years, she received funding to run long term research projects in schools to look into the effect of storytelling on children’s learning and personal development. Her current focus lies on understanding the effects of white privilege, Euro centrism and misrepresentation of gender in traditional material.
She has performed at international festivals all around Europe as well as North America and her repertoire spans from fairytales to myths, historic events to urban legends, autobiographical stories to tall tales. She tells stories in German, Norwegian and English.
Abbi Patrix trained at the Drama School Jacques Lecoq in Paris and has been exploring the art of storytelling for the past thirty years. His work is at the crossroads of theatre, music, and movement, and he is on a permanent quest for new ways and voices to enrich the form of storytelling. To transfer his research to young generations of storytellers, he created The Labo in France and a European Labo-offspring – a collective and multi-disciplinary space for research, improvisation, and transmission. He performs in French and English and he is a founding member of FEST.
Veva Gerard is trained as a professional ‘artist of the spoken word’. She graduated from LUCA in Leuven and from the Kleine Academie in Brussels.
She started as a presenter, recitation artist, and actress. In addition, she was an inspired and inspiring teacher in these domains for a long time. Later on, she discovered storytelling.
She lobbied for and ensured storytelling an official place in the renewed art decree for part-time art education by the Ministry of Education. Now, storytelling can be a subsidised course in all academies throughout Flanders, interested in organising it. Her own storytelling course at the academy of Lier is well attended by students from Flanders and the Netherlands, making her a full-time teacher.
For the Federation for European Storytelling, she worked on a competence model for oral storytelling, and she developed a toolbox to gain insight into this model. She also led two international master classes to put the model into practice as a storyteller or storytelling trainer.
But of course, she also likes to perform on stage, preferably with her musical storytelling collective 'Sister and such'.
www.vevagerard.webs.com - www.zusenzo.webs.com
Luís Correia Carmelo
Luís Correia Carmelo was born in Lisbon in 1976 but lived in Brazil his first 14 years. He has a Degree in Theatre, a Master Degree in Portuguese Studies (with the dissertation Representations of Death in Portuguese Folktales) and a PhD in Arts, Culture and Communication (with the thesis Oral Storytelling: a performing art). As a researcher he collaborates with the Institute of Tradition and Literature Studies (New University of Lisbon) and the Arts and Communication Research Centre (University of Algarve). He has been a professional storyteller since 2003 working in libraries, schools, theaters and festivals in Portugal and abroad.
Mimesis Heidi Dahlsveen
Mimesis Heidi Dahlsveen has worked as a storyteller since 1996 both at national and abroad. She has participated in a number of international festivals and in two EU projects that deal with oral storytelling. She has sold performances to the cultural rugsack and toured internationally.
She is the associate professor in oral storytelling at Oslomet – metropolitan university and in 2008 she published the book "Introduction to oral storytelling", Universitetsforlaget. In 2019 she came with her second book on the same topic. She has written several academic articles on oral storytelling, where she uses artistic research as an input to understanding oral storytelling and narratives. Her focus is on letting the traditional narratives shed light on contemporary themes. She is a member of the research group «Art in society».
Susan began telling stories in 2001. She joined her local guild and under their guidance she was soon performing for adults in local festivals, at state conferences, for various civic groups, and other adult organizations. She also told for children at public libraries and in summer programs. Susan performed for audiences ranging in age from 3 to adult. She was active in various storytelling organizations in the US and taught storytelling classes.
As a school counselor with Master’s degrees in Counseling (1988) and Education (2001), Susan became skilled in using stories and storytelling as a powerful tool in both therapeutic and classroom settings in the US and in Germany.
Susan earned a Master’s degree in storytelling from the prestigious storytelling program at East Tennessee State University in 2016. Her degree work focused on applied storytelling in the classroom, storytelling for teaching English, performance skills, and storytelling theory. She has given workshops on various aspects of storytelling in the US and internationally.
Susan lives with her German husband in Freising, Germany.
a storyteller playing music or a musician telling stories
Her homeland is South Tyrol in the middle of the mountains in the German speaking part of Northern Italy. Since 2008 she works as a storyteller along with her job as a flute teacher at the local music school. Stories have always fascinated her. She loves to explore and research stories from different points of view and make them her own. She loves to play with language and she loves to experiment with other forms of art in order to create something new. Lightness and passion, a touch of boldness and a hint of eeriness, esprit and a big love for her stories make up her way of telling stories.
One of her focuses in storytelling are the fascinating legends and myths of the Dolomites. She also experiments with bilingual storytelling as she lives in a bilingual area. She tells stories inside (libraries, castles, cultural centres etc.) and outside in the middle of nature.
She studied music at the conservatory, Russian and English at the university, she lived and worked in Russia and Siberia, she tells stories in her local dialect, inGerman, Italian, English and Russian. And she creates and tailors her own clothes.
Stephe Harrop is a researcher and storyteller, based at Liverpool Hope University (UK). Her research focuses on contemporary storytelling practices, spoken-word performance, Greek tragedy and classical receptions, and performer training. Her co-authored monograph Greek Tragedy and the Contemporary Actor (with Zachary Dunbar, 2018) won the ADSA’s Rob Jordan Prize for the best book on a theatre, drama, or performance studies related subject. Stephe is currently working on a monograph exploring new collaborative platforms for story-led performance, and female storytelling artists as innovators in interdisciplinary creativity. Contemporary Storytelling Performance: Female Artists on Practices, Platforms, Presences is under contract with Routledge.
Csenge Virág Zalka
Csenge Virág Zalka, PhD., is a storyteller and author from Hungary. She travels the world telling folktales and other traditional stories in English, Spanish, and Hungarian; she has been featured at storytelling festivals around Europe and in the USA. She holds a MA degree in Storytelling and a PhD in Culture Studies. Csenge spends a lot of time researching rare and interesting folktales, and has published several story collections (including Tales of Superhuman Powers: 55 traditional stories from around the world, and Dancing on Blades: Rare and exquisite folktales from the Carpathian Mountains). She currently lives in Budapest, and works for the Világszép Foundation for Children in State Care, where she trains storytellers to tell bedtime stories in foster homes. You can read about Csenge's work on her blog, The Multicolored Diary or follow her on Twitter or Facebook
In 2020 FEST set-up two pilot courses on oral storytelling.
In May 2020 a course was designed for the Summer school at the university of Arts in Berlin, "What Are You Talking About - Oral Storytelling in Contemporary Society". The participants were invited to explore their repertoire of traditional folktales with a focus on racism, gender and hetero-normativity. Through hands-on exercises, the workshops supported the development of narrative and performing strategies to creatively overcome ethical problems.
The second course pilot course “Oral Storytelling and Artistic Research” was organised on masterlevel in collaboration with Oslo Metropolitan University in October 2020. It emphasised on the student’s academic and artistic ability to reflect, discuss and perform oral storytelling in line with socially relevant challenges.
Some of the students made a research contribution to this symposium: