Deepa Kiran – Story Arts India
First Indian professional storyteller to represent India in Tehran
For 18th Kanoon International Storytelling Festival
Story Arts India offers storytelling with arts (music and movement integrated) performances and training workshops. Deepa Kiran is a professional storyteller of international repute, an educationalist, writer, compeer (hosting events) and voice-over artist.
She is the author of a print-cum-audio book for children, titled ‘The Royal Mistake’. She is actively engaged in the field of education, particularly with integrating storytelling and the arts in the learning environment and holds her performances and training programs across the country.
An avid reader, who loved to watch movies since her childhood, she grew up listening to the stories told by her father which counts as one of the major influences in becoming a professional story teller. Her career started in 2008 with a summer camp for children. In her words, storytelling is a combination of drama and conversation. In the absence of a book, the storyteller can make eye contact with the listener, play with her hands and body as she enacts the story and thus connect with the listener with much more engagement and fun. Her audience are from 6 years old to corporate professionals. Her props are mostly folk musical instruments. Sometimes, they are simple story boards, puppets or characters. She feels, Folk themes are universal and mostly connect with all age groups and backgrounds.
Excerpts from the interview:
Story Telling in school curriculum- It can easily be incorporated in the classroom as a language activity, book-reading related activity to start with. Story arts work with schools making stories based on the different subjects/concepts/topics in the curriculum and thus introducing stories based on language, maths, science, environmental studies, history, etc.
As teaching strategy- It can be built into the time table in a semi-structured manner. Allotting about 15 minutes every day (preferably first thing in the morning) for a storytelling by teachers and children is a simple way to start. Teachers can introduce subject-based and concept-based stories. School having impromptu/rehearsed story telling by children in the classroom and encouraging storytelling by parents, supported by story cards sent home to parents for reference and story-ideas will also help.
When asked how does the corporates get benefit by her story sessions?
She says, Harvard Business School has a course in storytelling. Narrative leadership is much sought after the world over now. Corporate storytelling offers the way to listen to and share stories related to the organization to be able to effectively impact decision making and thinking of the target audience. Be it the internal or external customers.
Ms Deepa Kiran