Story time arrives

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STORY time has arrived in Southland, with this year’s storytelling programme set to begin tomorrow.

Diane Ferlatte and Anna Jarrett are in the south to share their vivid words at concerts for adults, families and school children this month.

Jarrett said storytelling was an art form for everyone, and she was looking forward to performing at the adults and children’s shows.

During the concert for adults tomorrow night she would tell a combination of stories about travels and adventures, with some folktales woven in, she said.

“The art of story I like is weaving the magic into the everyday, then tying the tradition with the contemporary.”

Jarrett said when telling for kids you had to keep the story moving fairly quickly. They were also quite large audiences at school shows.

“With the large audiences you’ve got to keep the space energised and keep the kids involved.”

She said this was done by weaving in a bit more rhythm in the way it’s told, and the characters were often a little bit shorter and sharper.

It was important to draw the kids into the story so they could all see it in their imaginations, she said.

“That’s what you’re looking for with any audience – laughing, smiling and eyes wide open.”

Jarrett said the tradition of oral storytelling was important because of the heart connection it created.

“I think no matter where you go, or what culture you’re in people love to sit around and listen to each other’s stories.

“Telling stories is all from the heart, all the images and emotions are drawing up from there.

“It’s important with so much technology around to remind everybody that it’s great to sometimes just put them away and remember we have these amazing imaginations and this heart that is so big.”

She said, for her, telling a story felt very vibrant and alive.

Diane Ferlatte. Photo: Supplied

Before arriving in Southland, Ferlatte said in an email telling stories helped to remind people we all had the same human emotions and feelings.

“In this day and age of typing, texting and twittering, it is even more important to remember to talk with one another. Listening is learning.”

She would be sharing some of her favourite stories as well with people in Southland.

“Many of my stories have African American roots, but I tell all kinds of folktales as well as historical and personal stories.”

She encouraged people to come along and enjoy one of the concerts.

“If you love a good story, and love to laugh and sing, please come out to share in an age-old tradition.”

Hosted by the Celebrate Story Committee of the Southland Literacy Association, the storytellers will perform an adults’ concert at Repertory House on Friday, May 11, at 7.30pm, a free family concert at the Invercargill Public Library on Saturday, May 12, at 11am, and a Meet the Tellers night at First in Windsor on Wednesday, May 16, at 7.30pm.

They will also visit several Southland schools during their time in the south.

Tickets available from Young Reflections, TicketDirect or door sales 30 minutes prior to the performances.

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