New Delhi: Stories can be a great source of comfort, of knowledge, and inspiration. And during this uncertain period, as the world moves forward one digital footstep at a time, they can be a great tool to engage children and help them channelise their energy, while furthering their learning curve.
Stories also have a way of transcending borders, time and space, assimilating cultures, history and traditions from all across the world. And now, with the boundless possibilities of the Internet, Teamwork Arts is ready to bring alive the magic of storytelling in all its forms, directly to children at home.
Teamwork Arts, today announced its new digital storytelling series for children- ‘Kahaani Online- The magic of storytelling in all its forms!’ Supported by The Kamini and Vindi Banga Family Trust, Kahaani Online is a celebration of the timeless art of storytelling in its myriad forms. From uncovering stories to exploring science through fun DIY art and craft sessions, live workshops, book readings, conversations as well as prerecorded performances, Kahaani Online will aim to create a safe, virtual space, encouraging children to think outside the box and explore the realm of their imagination and creativity. The digital series will also feature artistes with unique styles of storytelling and present an opportunity for children to pick-up a new art form, all the while sitting at home.
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, said, “Kahaani Online – the magic of storytelling will bring alive stories and fables from across the world in a variety of forms through magic, puppetry, storytelling, music, to enliven a child’s mind and open them to the infinite possibility of imagination, mystery, adventure, and excitement.”
Extending their support towards the initiative, Kamini Banga and Vindi Banga from Kamini And Vindi Banga Family Trust, said, “We are delighted to support the Kahaani Online Festival, The Magic of Storytelling, through our Family Trust. Planting the seeds of the magic of storytelling in our children will ensure that these wonderful tales will endure for generations to come. We both grew up in India, immersed in stories that provided hope, comfort, and an anchor to our lives. In these turbulent times, we believe stories offer refuge and a place to dream; the elixir for childhood.”
The Kamini and Vindi Banga Family Trust was established in 2016, and one of the Trust’s missions is supporting the Performing Arts and the Written Word. This is something we feel very passionate about. The Kamini and Vindi Banga Family Trust also supports, in the UK, The Story Museum, The Poetry School, the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan’s Ravi Shankar Memorial Concert, The Almeida Theatre, The National Theatre, and Grange Park Opera.”
Kahaani Online has been curated especially for children across ages 4-12 years, in partnership with Pratham Books. Presented on an exclusive digital platform, Kahaani Online will feature 4 new episodes each week, with every episode catering to specific age brackets: 4-6 years, 7-9 years and 10-12 years. While most episodes will have the option to be viewed later, certain workshops and conversations will be conducted as live sessions on the platform. The live sessions are scheduled for every Sunday. Upon signing up for Kahaani Online, partner schools, children, and parents will be able to view sessions on the platform, free of cost for the initial month, post which, viewers will have to subscribe to the platform for INR 199 per month with the first month free.
“Our goal at Pratham Books is to spread the joy of reading to every child through storybooks in many languages. Now more than ever, the need to engage children using innovative channels and ideas is critical, as children continue to be at home due to school closures. Through this association with the Kahaani Online series, we hope to create exciting storytelling experiences for children everywhere, in many languages,” says Himanshu Giri, CEO, Pratham Books.
Kahaani Online will present an array of renowned storytellers from across the world, puppeteers, and other master practitioners. The series will begin with a storytelling session for 4-6-year-olds, by bestselling author, storyteller, and trainer based out of the U.K, Cat Weatherill, who will present the extremely popular nursery story, ‘Three Little Pigs’. As part of the ongoing #SaveWithStories campaign, in collaboration with the U.S based NGO, Save the Children, Kahaani Online will also feature popular actress Soha Ali Khan who will readout from her favorite storybook ‘Someday’. Celebrated painter and author of numerous children’s books, Bulbul Sharma will teach children how to weave their own tales, in a session for 7-9 years.
Musician, storyteller, and martial artist Aditya Roy will enthrall children with his retelling of a popular Celtic the mythological tale, on the legends of ‘Tuatha Dé Danann’, all the way from Ireland. With Anubha Rastogi’s interpretation of the famous fairytale, ‘The Old Woman who lived in a Vinegar Bottle’, children will once again get the opportunity to travel the world with their imagination.
The series will also feature some fantastic puppetry workshops. Puppeteer Mohammed Shameem, founder of Puppetshala, will teach children how to make their own puppets to play with, with materials that can be found easily at home. Award-winning British performer Drew Colby will present a puppet show titled ‘Anansi and Five’, a traditional tale from Africa about the trickster spider-man Anansi. Extending the offerings, the series will present a drama workshop by professional storyteller and educator, Rohini Vij.
The series will also feature well workshops and sessions by renowned performers including Puneeta Roy, Tilottama Shome, Rashmi Uppal, Jaishree Sethi, Ramendra Kumar, Swagata S. Pillai, Anurupa Roy, Dilip Shankar, Jeeva Raghunath, etc to name a few.
Kahaani Online, at its core, will be a celebration of the art and form of storytelling with the objective of igniting young minds. With storytellers from the fields of science, history, maths, and literature, Kahaani Online will emphasize on the importance of cognitive learning using storytelling as a tool to break down academic concepts and subjects. Going beyond passive learning, the digital series will encourage active participation from children by concluding each episode with an activity based on the content of that particular session.