Three years ago, David Ambrose, Artistic Director of Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival and Angharad Wynne began a quest to develop a Wales – India storytelling collaboration to be presented at Beyond the Border next year (2018). Like all good quests, it’s had its fill of seemingly impossible tasks, a cast of kings and queens (or Maharajas and Ranis in this case), master musicians, impregnable fortresses, exquisite palaces, colourful storytellers and simple village dwellings. Along the way, they came face to face with elephants, were mobbed by monkeys, besieged by set backs and near death experiences, blessed by the generosity and wisdom of total strangers, rode strange, magical carriages (namely tuk-tuks) through hair raising traffic and, like all good quests and traditional tales, there is a happy ending with treasures (cultural) and learning galore. More than anything a veritable cauldron full of stories and songs to share with audiences in India, Wales and beyond.
But this isn’t the end, rather it’s the beginning of a two year partnership between Beyond the Border Festival (BtB) and Jodhpur International Folk Festival (JRIFF), kindly supported by Wales Arts International, that will explore the music, poetry and storytelling traditions of Wales and Rajasthan.
Angharad and some of the performers involved in the project are sharing their storytelling adventures and learning through this project on a blog, so head there for up to date news and insights: www.indiaodyssey2015.wordpress.com