FEST DIARY 

This is an informal reflection on the various programmes, highlighting moments that may help you to decide ones you want to watch  

  • 30 Oct 2021 12:57 | Krupa Vinayagamoorthy (Administrator)

    Multilingual stream - Aimperum Kaappiyangal - Tamil Literary Tales  - An absolute treat to watch. The five great epics of Thamizh(Tamil), beautifully delivered in five different styles, in one hour! Definitely not an easy task! The thoughtfully chosen folk tunes, the lyrics, the animations, the different pronounciations of the language, not to forget the costumes and above all the sync between the tellers Parvathy, Meera and Anagha...all adding up so much colour and liveliness to the great stories. A very special theme...thoughtfully weaved...sincerely created and charmingly delivered! A show not to be missed!

    Kids stream - Tricksters and Twisters - Always a favourite genre for most of us! Isn't it! Sowmya's lovely visuals, especially of forming a ladder and climbing up the coconut tree(personally liked Ambu - the ant ;)), Helen Tan literally taking us to the rain forest...I can still feel the rain drops :) Juriah's well picked tales of the wise Judge of Japan especially the story of Jazo bound in ropes (hope am spelling it right), Shalini's wonderful characterisation of the tiger and the man and the seamless switch between the two! Was that for an hour!! Never realised!  

    Adults stream - Entwined and Entangled - Stories of Love and Marriage - What an interesting topic right!! Mangalam's story with an unexpected twisty start with apt musical effects, Katrina's beautiful interweaving of Savitri's story with a personal anecdote, Pretigaya's story with humour and satire, with a twisty thoughtful ending and Nidhi's story of love between a human and a bird making it a perfect fantas(y)tic ending that the theme deserves!! How can an hour be enough for such a topic!!



  • 25 Oct 2021 08:44 | Krupa Vinayagamoorthy (Administrator)

    Malay funny Tales  - The tellers took us to Malay land through their stories. Though I do not understand a word of Malay, thanks to the expressions, body language, movements and voice modulations of the tellers, they kept me hooked to my screen. Oh not to forget the folk tune beautifully weaved in by Juriah. The smiles and giggles in the stories surely rubbed on to me as well.

    The Prop magic was truly magical! Ritu shared 2 animal stories through her stick-on cut outs. Nandita got us to draw through her story, the flipping of the paper was truly magical. Kiran's Origami story had very simple, clear instructions that made it easy for the viewers to fold away. Shalini's magical carpet got us to stretch and try some yoga asanas. Feast has been kept us glued to our seats and screens for over 11days now, so yoga and stretches is surely the need of the hour.

    Encounter Asia: This was a very interesting one indeed. We had a wide variety of real life experiences shared, some edgy, some emotional, some joyous and some just out right hilarious. Can't wait for tomorrow!

  • 23 Oct 2021 09:09 | Krupa Vinayagamoorthy (Administrator)

    My day started with travel around the Indonesian islands through stories by a team of 7 tellers with a special appearance by Ariyo.

    Rika began with a beautiful song and a story from Central Borneo. I still shudder thinking about swimming in a pot of water after switching the gas on!


    Putri told a story about an angel and sung a beautiful song which is sung in a game - Tubla Tubla Suwang with a catchy tune which is still ringing in my head.


    Namira told a story about a pet tiger which reminded me of the story of the pet mongoose. In the morning we go to the paddy field, in the paddy field we work work work!!! My son has started singing this song with me.


    Then came the musical duo Zack and Kanya who taught us that in Bahasa Indonesia story is called "Cherlita". Kanya;s smile connects with the audience instantly and you don't want her to stop. Zack's ukulele added so much melody and soul to their story that I ordered a ukulele for myself! Their highly interactive style of telling, singing and dancing while telling the story, made me learn so much about North Sumatra. The love of a sister and brother reminded me of our Indian festival Raksha-Bandhan which celebrates this bond.


    Vassilisa started with a melodious song and told the story infused with beautiful songs and expressions. Again her story reminded me of Hansel and Gretel where the witch first feeds them and then plans to feast on them!  It also reminded me of another story which Jeeva mam told us once about finding your parents with the lullaby that they sung. The song she used for chasing was so catchy that it made me hum to it.

    Kiki's story of getting a baby from a golden cucumber was very naturally told and it felt like I was watching the Disney's Tangled with musicals in between. I am still intrigued who was playing music for her?

    All in all, it was really inspiring to see the Indonesian tellers telling their folk stories in English and making it special for us.

    The Puppet Palooza was definitely a treat to watch. Seema Wahi with her life size puppets, Roger with his minister who looked quite like him, and the way they weaved in other stories in a known story of Akbar and Birbal was commendable. It was fun to see Priscilla with a monkey and I missed Tricksy a lot. I can't imagine Priscilla without Tricksy! Banu created a stampede of animals due to the Plop! It was very interesting to see that though Banu had a wise lion as king who made everyone think, Sreedevi's lion was a foolish one who was tricked by a fox.

    Roger really opened my eyes about dragons. Now, I will know wherever I see a dragon, if it is Asian or not!

    The final interaction with all the puppeteers and puppets was the cherry on the cake when all joined in with their own puppets!

    The final show of the day was the Stepping up Stepping out, Mentees' showcase.

    Meher made my mouth water with the description of her besan laddoos and Prerna's story gave me faith. 

    Rukhshan took me back to my childhood of grandma's stories. Her second story made me realise that every part of India has a similar story, and stories love to travel and change forms according to where they are!

    Oshima's story about the snow woman made me feel the chill and Cem left me in splits with his story and antics!!!

    Thank you for such a feast of stories!

  • 22 Oct 2021 22:30 | Priti ModyIyer (Administrator)

    The  Chekegori Storytellers from Korea brought fun, music and laughter to the MTL session, keeping everyone entertained with their antics. 

    The fun continued in the Kids Stream with tellers bringing in samurais , ogres, monks and roosters to the session. Jeeva Ragunath brought in a surprise "noisy" element amidst lots of laughter 

    Everything that begins must come to an end and what an end it was. The 7 day saga of "Ramayana through the Kaleidoscope" brought our tellers together in an epic finale in the first segment of the Adult Stream.

    With every ending is a new beginning and the launch of the fourth FEAST anthology "Splish Splosh Splash" began a new chapter for FEAST. The colourful illustrations and the shy illustrators won our hearts as we met the people behind this lovely book. 

  • 21 Oct 2021 13:03 | Krupa Vinayagamoorthy (Administrator)

    The FEAST FEST is truly a tasty, delectable platter...of stories.The tellers have put in their best to enthrall the audience!

    TAMIL Tales and Traditional VILLUPATTU section presented an enriching linguistic style, showcasing the beauty and richness of the oldest language,Tamil. It was all about the 'Airavat' elephant tales. How the animal helps man, its use in temple processions and carrying logs. A beautiful stone lampstand with elephant motif graced the show, the lamp was lit, amidst melodius singing by a young teller. The popular story of five blind men giving their perspective of the body parts of an elephant was well depicted by the teller wearing dark glasses and using hand gestures.

    Traditional VILLUPATTU performed by the Singapore Tamil duo was mesmerizing and a perfect synchronization of bells, song and narration. Learning the art from Ananda Kannan (AK) and reviving the tradition indeed was a good gesture to showcase it to the next generation. Tandem narration between the duo who stood in front of a  picturesque backdrop was sheer magic to the ears as they talked to and fro, intermingling it with jingling the bells on this unique boat shaped instrument! Encore!

    KIDSTREAM
    The duo of Bengali tellers introduced the character of Gopal Bhand, a renowned jester in the court of KrishnaChandra Raya. They then took us to the various villages, narrating how he travelled and word of his wit and wisdom spread. Bengali chants, expressive facial expressions, music beats using the temple cymbals, delighted the young and old audiences. Surely, the children can think of ways to solve puzzles, questions and use rhyming thus putting stories into daily practice.

    The RAMAYANA entered the 'Yuddha Kanda' or the battleground section. The two narrators relayed information to and fro, sometimes frantically asking the situation on the battlefield, depicting a sense of tension and strife there.  Large size puppets depicting the 2 antagonists and smaller puppet of RAMA, the central character, with a serene and Divine presence brought out the narration in grandeur!
    SITA, wife of RAMA took Centre stage, and the teller dressed up in traditional red. Using emotion, poise, grace in her dialogues, she finally brought out the characters dilemma, beautifully!  The apt use of technology, sound and colours added to this  spellbound performance! We await a real theatrical performance!

    The next teller told a story of Agni or Fire intricately weaving it to the story of SITA, who had entered the fire in earlier narration. The teller is renowned for her simplicity, poise, fluency of languages and musical chants or shlokas that delight and rivet the audience! Her choice of yellow saree and red background added beauty to the narration.

    The session concluded with a question and answer session with the author and blogger Praveena Sivram. You can find the story of Agni as: The Colour of Grief is Red.
     Well, what were the challenges for the author and teller to adapt the story, did the author find any changes? How did the teller bring out the characters from the story/ book to life in the narration?

  • 19 Oct 2021 12:05 | Krupa Vinayagamoorthy (Administrator)

    In the first part of the multilingual stream Shalini, Kamal; Seema, in their musical storytelling performance tell us a nice tale of a tail, accompanied by the talented musician Kamal. In the second part we listen folktales from India. Have you ever been in Maharashtra, and joined a Jatra, the cultural fair before? Vividha’s joyful tale adorned with amazing animal imitations will take you right there. Prakrati entertains us with her thoughtful story: The Banya people use their brains and usually run grocery shops whereas Jak people use their muscle strength and involved mostly in farming. Her musical telling and great mimics are enchanting. Kajal loves birds and her story takes us to Utrakan, her
    home in Hyderabad where the winters are very fierce. In her beautifully told story she reveals the legend behind the Black Crow festival celebrated at the end of each winter.

    In the kids stream, during the first part we hear 3 ecological themed stories. Ramya tells how animals in the forest called to and brought back the sun who was fed up with the attack of humans. Meher in her story explains what the wise man told to the snake who did not know how to control his anger and protect himself against dangers. Mindy’s story is about the creation of a very prosperous garden
    for the needy people thanks to the generosity of the 2 friends and kindness of a student. In the second part we have 3 funny stories from the FEAST book “Hiss, Roar, Squeak”. Juriah’s story enlightens us about why there are no tigers in the island of Borneo. Shylaja’s funy story is about a rumor spread by “worry-what” which scared and dragged all animals into chaos. Deeptha from Japan tells us how a working mouse became the most powerful and bravest creature in the world.

    In the adult stream in Ramayana Kaleidoscope we will learn if Rama could find Sita after Ravana tricked her. Vinita plays with verse, a very aristocratic telling and Lavanya leaves us spellbound with her artistic delivery in a traditional bharatnatyam artistic form. In the second part of the adult stream Sarita, inspired by a true story , will tells us in the “Making of Hero” Ahilia’s transformation from a simple girl to a heroin, an extraordinary story of an 18 th Century Indian Woman lived in Malwa.

  • 18 Oct 2021 16:13 | roger jenkins (Administrator)

    The FEST continues to delight and impress with the sheer variety of its content and the quality and innovation that is being presented!

    THE JAPANESE FOLKTALES offered a fascinating mix of stories, from kamishibai to finger play and playful draw-and-tell calligraphy. The story of the two snakes (suitable for pre-schoolers in any language!) and the magical geta (wooden shoes with only one support - normally they have two) that offer offered great wealth (with one 'shortcoming'?) are two Tales I'm sure many tellers will be adapting and adding to their repertoire!

    The KAMISHIBAI programme offered three tellers with distinctly different styles. Can you imagine tandem kamishibai telling on zoom? They did - and delivered with one wow transition after another. Wow!! There were surprises galore as the kamishibai held unexpected revelations - I'd say this session is a MUST for any teller who is interested in this theatre form. Expect a webinar from these three in 2022!!

    THE RAMAYANA took a dramatic turn in the thick of the forest with the two tellers working in the same space to deliver this exciting episode. Two sensational huge demon masks added to the fun (plus an of-screen husband providing excellent forest sound effects!)

    As I was involved in presenting stories of Nasruddin's Donkeys and Wives, I can't say too much except that we succeeded in making one of our most serious Directors laugh (a lot!) 


  • 16 Oct 2021 22:39 | Krupa Vinayagamoorthy (Administrator)

    IN MTL  The Korean programme featured two contrasting tales - one intensely personal and moving, a story of family separation and loss post Korean war, and the other a classic folktale (in English.) The Indonesian team of four regaled with stories which entranced us as they deftly wove threads of English into their tapestry of Bahasa Indonesia (spoken and sung.)  The highlight for me was Gery's version of The Stonecutter, a story I also love to tell, given wonderful life and comedy in his exceptional version.  

    Panchatantra in the Forest (Kids stream) was as eye-catching on video as it had been when first presented to us as a proposal - Shelly Verma, like so many of us confined by covid lockdown at home, decided to take took us on a rivetting ramble through a forest in Switzerland sharing stories on the way. Highly recommended by our kid reviewer (a director's son!) 

    In the adult stream, The Ramayana/Kaleidoscope got off to a sensational start with an episode incorporating goat-leather shadow puppets (with C Managalm Senthil) and an innovative kamishibai (expertly presented by Ramya Srinidhi).  So much to enjoy for tellers and storylovers alike! Barely had we been invited to a royal wedding (do I need a spoiler alert?!) than we stepped into the court of Akbar the Great and met three of his wives, brought to fascinating life by Dee Palanisamy, telling in the first person which I found fascinating to watch

  • 15 Oct 2021 22:38 | Krupa Vinayagamoorthy (Administrator)

    We had a great start to the FEST with over 80 pax logging on at each of the three session - and all three programmes are free-to view (simply scroll down this page!)

    What follows are ROGER JENKINS' personal opinions! 

    The KIDS SESSION was the overall 'Best Session'with its mix of stories told with puppets (Shree Devi Sunil) an original song (Rona Mentari) and the famous Japanese tale of the Three Magic Charms told by the delightful Masako Carey.

    Best Telling of the night award goes to Shereen Saif (Adults stream) for her gripping sharing of the Ahalya story from the Ramayana - not something that you are going to catch in the wonderful seven-episode version of the epic that launches today (16th) - though Ariyo Zidni moved many with his telling of the starfish story in a post tsunami Aceh, also in the adult stream. 

    Funniest story of the day? Undoubtedly the multi-lingual stream version of a Thai 'there was an old woman who swallowed a fly' (except it was a ticklish lizard that wouldn't stay still!) told in a mixture of Mandarin, Turkish, Japanese, English and lots of wonderfully comical expression by Ng Kok Keong, Cem Alfar and Masako Carey. How appropriate that the story had originally been share with Kok Keong by our late founder-member, Dr Wajuppa Tossa; we laughed and felt her presence.
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