International Storytelling Festival Singapore 2021


Story Talk

Jackie Kerin, Annalisa Salis, Preeti Vyas, Chan Shu Yin, Daniel Allison, Xanthe Gresham Knight, Deric Ee, Peter Chand, Daniel Abercrombie, Naomi Wilds, Paola Balbi, Sef Townsend, Akshita Nanda, Verena Tay, Susan Perrow, Ruth Kirkpatrick, Amanda Edmiston, Nandini Nagpal, Kavitha Krishnan, Jeremy Leong, Judith Teo

Sun 20 June 2021 onwards
Online via YouTube
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Welcome to Story Talk, a series of short interviews about the different facets of storytelling. Our StoryFest community has learned and grown from the global sharing of practice – and we hope to continue fostering these conversations with this online series.

Join StoryFest’s Creative Producer, Kamini Ramachandran, as she speaks with storytellers, applied arts practitioners and those working with storytelling from all over the world. For artists, producers and arts managers, the videos will support your craft and offer insights from experts in their field. For curious individuals, explore representation in myths and legends and storytelling as a tool for wellbeing.

Story Talk is a free access online resource bank on a diverse range of storytelling related topics.

Visual Storytelling: Interpreting Stories through Illustrations
Annalisa Salis (Italy), Chan Shu Yin (Singapore), Jackie Kerin (Australia), Preeti Vyas (India)
Host: Kamini Ramachandran (Singapore)

As an illustrator, how do you distil and capture key moments from a story? What is the collaborative process with an author like? Four speakers share their experiences and techniques they use to create visual stories.

From Page to Stage: Adapting Text for Storytelling Performance
Daniel Allison (Scotland), Deric Ee (Malaysia), Xanthe Gresham Knight (UK)
Host: Kamini Ramachandran (Singapore)

From films to theatrical productions, stories have been adapted for different media for years. What makes adaptations for storytelling different? Hear from storytellers and arts producers as they share how you can bring familiar and new tales to life.

Producing Storytelling Festivals in the Pandemic
Daniel Abercrombie (Scotland), Naomi Wilds (Wales), Paola Balbi (Italy), Peter Chand (UK)
Host: Kamini Ramachandran (Singapore)

How can we create shared experiences in a virtual space? Hear from artistic directors and festival producers as they look back and examine challenges unique to the storytelling community and ways to support artists and audiences moving forward.

Representing Gender in Mythology
Akshita Nanda (Singapore), Sef Townsend (UK), Verena Tay (Singapore)
Host: Kamini Ramachandran (Singapore)

Think about it: characters in myths and legends don’t fall into neat binaries of hero or villain. How can we expand the conversation to consider more sides? These storytellers share layered characters who continue to remind them to question the archetypes we return to.

Storytelling for Wellbeing
Amanda Edmiston (Scotland), Nandini Nagpal (Singapore), Ruth Kirkpatrick (Scotland), Susan Perrow (Australia)
Host: Kamini Ramachandran (Singapore)

Whether you’re looking for preventive care, or to heal, explore simple and practical ways you can use stories, to support children, your community and yourself emotionally. This session suggests a range of stories you can try to use, even if you aren’t a big reader.

Performing Folklore Through Dance
Jeremy Leong (Singapore), Judith Teo (Singapore), Kavitha Krishnan (Singapore)
Host: Kamini Ramachandran (Singapore)

How can movement capture a group’s cultures and beliefs? What should you consider in selecting scenes from folklore to express through dance? Three artists share their processes and influences in performing folklore through dance for audiences of all ages.


Jackie Kerin
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Jackie Kerin (Australia)

Jackie lives in Melbourne, Australia. She acknowledges that Aboriginal Australians are the First Peoples and that she lives on Country long mapped by story, song and dance. Keeping a global outlook, she loves that Australia is now a country with a population of migrant people, still carrying and sharing stories from their places of origin – a rich storytelling environment for anyone who has a passion for the oral tradition.

Annalisa Salis
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Annalisa Salis (Italy)

Annalisa is a self-taught artist and illustrator. Alongside animals and (many) birds, her work is often inspired by traditional stories, either found in books or heard by the live voice of storytellers. Most recently, she illustrated the e-book Folktales from the Garden and is currently developing a silent book based on a Sardinian folktale. She lives and works between Scotland and Sardinia, her home island.

Preeti Vyas
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Preeti Vyas (India)

Preeti Vyas is the President and CEO of Amar Chitra Katha Pvt Ltd, publisher of seminal Indian literature for children including the iconic Amar Chitra Katha comics and Tinkle magazine. From her books, such as The Adventures of Woka Chimni, to her publishing company, Fun Ok Please, to her children’s bookstore Kidztown, Preeti’s passion for children’s content has touched parents and children for over 25 years.

Chan Shu Yin
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Chan Shu Yin (Singapore)

Shu Yin’s art traverses the realms of Nature, human being's relationship with it, as well as existentialism and the human condition. An illustrator and art therapist who previously worked as a visual effects artist, she appreciates the therapeutic properties of traditional media. She taught herself how to paint in watercolour, which is her medium of choice.

Daniel Allison
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Daniel Allison (Scotland)

Daniel Allison is a Scottish storyteller, author and podcaster. Known for his evocative style and lyrical language, Daniel has performed in schools, prisons and on stage at global festivals. Daniel hosts the podcast House of Legends and is the founder of the Roundhouse Storytelling School, a unique online school for storytellers. He is the author of Scottish Myths & Legends and The Orkney Cycle. He divides his time between Scotland and Thailand.

Xanthe Gresham Knight
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Xanthe Gresham Knight (UK)

An internationally renowned storyteller, Xanthe has been Storyteller in Residence for Harvard University and is a core storyteller for the British Museum. Her specialisms are Shahnameh and shows celebrating the feminine divine including Cassandra for BBC Radio 4 and Morgana Le Fey for The Cheltenham Literature Festival. She is author of Goddesses and Heroines with Thames and Hudson and several children’s books.

Deric Ee
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Deric Ee (Malaysia)

Deric is a writer and arts manager from Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. He has curated and managed cultural events in Johor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. To date, he has edited several publications, including KL Noir: Magic. He enjoys spending his spare time stanning Taylor Swift on Twitter at @babybinbaik.

Peter Chand
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Peter Chand (UK)

British Indian storyteller Peter Chand is one of Europe’s most renowned storytellers and is constantly in demand for his tales of wisdom, love, and the supernatural. Since 2007, he has been part of the organising team of Festival at the Edge (FATE), the oldest storytelling festival in England, and is currently Storyteller-in-Residence at The Story Museum in Oxford.

Daniel Abercrombie
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Daniel Abercrombie (Scotland)

Daniel Abercrombie is the Associate Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, which takes place across Scotland in October each year. He is also the Programme Manager at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland, the world’s first purpose-built Centre for live storytelling. He loves to see traditional and contemporary storytelling mixed with music and other artforms, and enjoys bringing people together through storytelling and live arts.

Naomi Wilds
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Naomi Wilds (Wales)

Naomi is the Artistic Director of Beyond The Border Wales International Storytelling Festival, an arts festival dedicated to celebrating the world’s oral traditions. She worked in orchestral music, theatre and literature development before specialising in storytelling and founded Adverse Camber, which produces storytelling and music performances, tours and projects. Naomi now oversees the artistic direction of the Beyond The Border Festival including programming, shaping artistic priorities and fostering partnerships to support future growth.

Paola Balbi
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Paola Balbi (Italy)

Paola is the founder and co-Artistic Director of Raccontamiunastoria Storytelling Company, an industry leader in Italy and The Storytelling Company, the first performing storytelling company in the UAE. She has helmed multiple festivals including Storytelling Time Festival (Bolzano, Italy) and Tales on the Island – International Storytelling Festival (Sharjah, UAE). A seasoned actress and renowned storyteller with over 20 years of experience, Paola has been featured at storytelling festivals all over the world.

Sef Townsend
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Sef Townsend (UK)

Sef Townsend has spent more than 30 years animating adults and children through the medium of story, language, rhythm and song. He has worked on interfaith, and peace and reconciliation projects where he devised new ways of working with groups of people, including refugees, who don’t always share a common language. In the last few years, Sef has told and shared extensively in China, South Africa, Northern Ireland, The Middle East and South America.

Akshita Nanda
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Akshita Nanda (Singapore)

Akshita Nanda grew up in a family that used the power of storytelling to build bridges between new nations, and shape lives. She tells stories through her journalism, policy research and also novels. Her debut Nimita's Place (Epigram Books) co-won the 2020 Singapore Literature Prize for English fiction. She is also the author of Beauty Queens of Bishan (Penguin Randomhouse SEA).

Verena Tay
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Verena Tay (Singapore)

Verena Tay is a seasoned storyteller, theatre practitioner and writer. With over 25 years of experience performing, directing and writing for Singapore English language theatre, Verena has published four collections of her plays as well as two short story anthologies. She has edited 12 volumes of short stories including the popular Balik Kampung series. She has also successfully coached adults to improve their storytelling craft and conducted numerous creative writing workshops.

Susan Perrow
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Susan Perrow (Australia)

Susan is an Australian author with an extensive background in teaching, teacher training, storytelling and course facilitating. She works with ‘story medicine’ and writes, collects and documents stories that offer a therapeutic journey. When it was safe, she travelled internationally giving keynotes and training seminars for teachers, parents and therapists. She recently developed online training sessions.

Ruth Kirkpatrick
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Ruth Kirkpatrick (Scotland)

Ruth is one of Scotland’s leading storytellers. A highly regarded singer and charismatic live performer, she is a popular guest at Festivals worldwide – from Iceland to India. She has worked for over 35 years in social work listening to people’s stories and as a professional storyteller for 20 years. Through Stories Allways, she develops innovative resources and ways to use storytelling with children and families who have emotional and social needs.

Amanda Edmiston
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Amanda Edmiston (Scotland)

Amanda Edmiston (Botanica Fabula), comes from a family of storytellers, plant people and artists. She is fascinated by plants, their stories and the way they reveal our connection to each other and the natural environment. Her work weaves together facts, folklore, traditional tales and herbal remedies using storytelling techniques to create a rich multi-sensory tapestry which audiences have described as being like ‘an enchanting glimpse into a magical garden’.

Nandini Nagpal
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Nandini Nagpal (Singapore)

Nandini Nagpal is a passionate storyteller who performs a broad range of stories for adults, teenagers, and children at storytelling festivals, public events, libraries and schools across Singapore. She conducts storytelling workshops and has been a workshop presenter at conferences. Apart from being a storyteller, Nandini is a mindfulness trainer and coach and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in counselling.

Kavitha Krishnan
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Kavitha Krishnan (Singapore)

Kavitha is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Maya Dance Theatre (MDT). She incorporates traditional Indian dance forms, such as Bharatanatyam, with contemporary techniques and practices to stage productions locally and internationally. MDT’s artmaking process focuses on designing interdisciplinary dance theatre works which share social stories and highlight social issues. Kavitha also teaches dance in several schools and grooms young choreographers and budding dance artists.

Jeremy Leong
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Jeremy Leong (Singapore)

Jeremy graduated from LASALLE and is an Associate Young Storyteller at The Storytelling Centre Limited. His storytelling credits include The Hidden (dir. Kamini Ramachandran) at SIFA 2018 and Terrific Tales at The Artground. His stage credits include When Sadness Comes To Call (dir. Ian Loy). Jeremy is also a drama educator and co-founder of Zip Zap Zoom Collective, where he produces and creates arts experiences for young audiences.

Judith Teo
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Judith Teo (Singapore)

Judith is an ambassador of the Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) (DSA) and a performer who enjoys creating stories. In 2019, she performed in Speaking with Hands, the maiden full-length production by Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC) choreographed by award-winning performer, Liz Lea. More recently, she was the co-creator and storyteller in DADC’s digital production, Sang Nila Utama, and will be the presenter for SEEDS, DADC’s upcoming digital dance production in June 2021.