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Sneak peak: Know your storytellers

Vishal Bhardwaj (Mumbai, Maharashtra): Is an Indian film director, writer, composer and producer. He has directed nine feature films, produced five and composed music for more than forty. He has received 3 international awards and 7 national film awards for his word and recently, he has begun his stage career by directing A Flowering Tree in the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, and composing music for the Monsoon Wedding musical in Berkeley, California.

Mohit Chauhan (Mumbai, Maharashtra): Is a musician, singer, composer and songwriter. He is well known for his songs in the film industry as well as his independent music. A recipient of several awards, he continues to document, perform and promote folk music from the Himalayas.

Nautanki Group (Mathura, Uttar Pradesh): Nautanki is one of the most popular folk theatres from India. It has been the biggest entertainment medium in villages and towns of northern India since ages. Its musical compositions are rich and full of humor.

Prarthana Gahilote (Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand): Is an author and a journalist for twenty years with the national media, spanning print, TV and digital. She writes poetry in Hindustani and lyrics for songs. She is a storyteller, writer and the festival director of Kathakar.

Chaya Nataka Brundam (Andhra Pradesh): Tholubommalata or leather puppetry is a fusion of fine art, music, dance and literature. Natural and chemical dyes are used to accentuate character traits of the puppets which are made of goat hide.

Rachna Bisht (New Delhi): Specialises in women and children issues. She started the Donate-a-Book campaign with UNESCO to support class libraries in every under-priviledged school. She is a seeker of stories and the co-organiser of the Kathakar festival.

Divya Pathak (Ranikhet,Uttarakhand): Is a performer from Uttarakhand. Divya has acted in several plays based on short stories including Putna, Naya Munshi, Gopuli Bubu and Panchayat mein Panchali.

Shaguna Gahilote (New Delhi): Is a performance storyteller, writer and curator of Kathakar. She performs stories on Indian mythology, folktales, tales from around the world with wit and humour. Her first book on folktales is out this December.

Bruno Leone (Italy): He is credited with single handedly rescuing the Neapolitan street tradition of Pulcinella puppetry from extinction in the 1970s. Bruno is a supreme amabassador, maestro and teacher of his tradition.

Joe Baele (Belgium): He began his long and winding artistic career as a free-lance clown some 25 years ago. Joe tells these old traditionals full of humour and passion, fear and disaster, hopes and fading glories.

Peter Chand (United Kingdom): He has been storytelling since 1999, and has entertained audiences all over Britain and beyond with his tales from the Indian subcontinent. Being born to Indian parents who migrated to the UK, he combines English and Punjabi seamlessly to tell stories full of life and wisdom.

Amrita Tripathi (New Delhi): Is a freelance journalist and novelist.

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