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The Storytellers

The storytellers you will find at the Kathakar festival this year:

Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and a bestselling author. Three decades ago, Sadhguru founded Isha Foundation, a non-profit human-service organization. Sadhguru has initiated powerful yoga programs for human transformation and wellbeing, as well as various outreach projects for uplifting rural India. He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2017.

Imtiaz Ali is an Indian film director, producer and writer. He started his career with writing and directing television shows. In 2005 he made his directorial debut and has since been critically acclaimed for his films like Jab We Met and Rockstar.

Mohit Chauhan is a singer-songwriter and composer. He is well-known for his songs in the film industry as well as his independent music. A recipient of several awards including three Filmfare awards, he continues to document, perform and promote folk music and culture of the Himalayas.

Pankaj Tripathi a graduate of the National School of Drama, started his Hindi film career in 2004 and has since worked in more than 40 films and 60 television shows. For the film Newton, Tripathi received a Special Mention at the National Film Award.

Danish Hussain is an actor, poet, storyteller and a theatre director. He won the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for reviving the lost art form of Urdu storytelling Dastangoi in 2010. Subsequently he initiated a new storytelling project called Qissebazi.

Godfrey Duncan (TUUP) born in London to Guyanese parents, TUUP is credited to reviving storytelling in the UK and also giving a new lease of life to African tales. Tuups' breath of experience as a professional storyteller covers 30 years and more, working in many Festivals around the world and in education.

Xanthe Gresham is a UK based storyteller with a distinctive, physical, performance style, who delights in magic and the preposterous, in equal measure! And alumnus of Oxford Univeristy, Xanthe has performed in festivals, schools and libraries across the world.

Michal Malinowski is a Polish storyteller, writer, folklorist and visual artist. He is the creator and director of The Storyteller Museum and has been a chief contributor to the revival of the Polish storytelling movement. In 2006, Malinowski was awarded a special prize by the Polish Minister of Culture for his contribution to the preservation and development of culture.

Ritu Verma is an internationally acclaimed Pandvani performer. Pandvani is a 3000 year old epic storytelling from central India which tells the story of the Pandvas through folk singing and musical accompainment. Pandvani represents a rare unbroken oral performative tradition that dates back to the Bronze Age.

Kalyan Joshi is a celebrated phad artist and one of the few artist taking forward the ancient art form. Phad originated more than 700 years ago in Rajasthan and is part of an elaborate song-and-dance performance using the phad paintings as visual aides while performing dramatic renditions of mythological tales.

Amrita Tripathi is a storyteller - a journalist on a break from news, she is the author of two novels, The Sibius Knot and Broken News. You can reach her @amritat

Shaguna Gahilote is a performance storyteller, author and curator of Kathakar – International Storytellers Festival. She performs stories on Indian mythology, folktales and stories from around the world with wit and humour.

Prarthana Gahilote has been a journalist with the national media, spanning print, TV and digital. She writes poetry in Hindustani and lyrics for songs. She is a storyteller, author and the Fesitval Director of the Kathakar festival.

Rachna Bisht 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 co-Director of the Kathakar festival.

Sudip Gupta, Director DOLLS THEATRE - is one of a few modern puppeteers of India. Sudip Gupta has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution in the field of Puppetry.

Shahir Shri Adinath Vibhute is a name to reckon with in the traditional oral folk history of India. The Shahiri Powada (Ballad) is an important authentic Marathi poetic genres of shahiri literature and has been prevalent in Maharashtra since 12th century.

Navin Pangti is a designer and artisan who engages in poetry, prose, storytelling and hand-making artifacts. He started exploring storytelling when he moved away from city life and has since perfomed at various festivals and meets.

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