In Service to Stories
Our world is full of stories that connect us regardless of age, race or faith. As a storyteller and Director of Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival, Angharad is always on the look out for stories that connect people across cultural divides. Over the past few years, this search for stories has taken her across Europe and as far afield as India, to develop a partnerships between communities, storytellers and musicians.
Reclaiming lost voices - particularly women's voices - exploring the ineffable and searching for wisdom within stories that seem important for our time now, have been key strands through her work. Interwoven with these have been the interplay of stories and place, matters of spirituality and ecology. As part of this continuum, Angharad is currently returning to writing, and along with esteemed author, psychologist and mythologist, Dr Sharon Blackie, is currently working on a new book, Wise Women: Myths and Folklore in Celebration of Older Women, due to be published by Virago in autumn 2024.
Among the highlights of her storytelling career has bee the development of a partnership between Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival (Wales) and Rajasthan International Folk Festival (India). This partnership brought Welsh and Indian storytellers and musicians together to weave stories and music, tradition and meaning into a series of storytelling performances across three years, culminating in performances of a new storytelling show, Hands of Time. It is the weaving of a story pieced together from letters Angharad discovered in the National Museum of Wales, and a story she learned from a traditional folk ballad of the desert peoples of Rajasthan. It was premiered at Beyond the Border in July 2018, then toured to the International Festival of Voice and then finally brought home to the place that inspired the work, Mehrangharh Fort in Jodpur, as a centerpiece of Jodhpur International Folk Festival, in October 2018.
This creative journey, that spanned some five years of research, discovery, collaboration, creativity and friendship, has been chronicled in a blog: 'India Odyssey: In search of tall tales and tellers in Rajasthan'. You can find it here www.indiaodyssey2015.wordpress.com
But of course, this has not been the only story journey or performance. There have been solo shows, including:
KNOTWORK - The Magic of Making, a blend of Blacksmith tales, ballads and lore (2012).
TOTEM - A gathering of tales, myths, folksongs and lore of the horse from across the British Isles (2014).
TALISMAN - A mystical foray into the stories, history and traditions of the magic men and women of Wales, from cunning men and women to witches and fairy cursed families. Talisman was premiered in 2019 and performed at Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival in 2021.
There have also been creative collaborations including:
TAIR - A collaboration with Cath Little and Fiona Collins in memory of Esyllt Harker
and to launch the Esyllt Harker Bursary, 2016.
TANT - A blending of the stories of two mythic poets: Kabir (India) and Taliesin (Wales)
with music and poetry. A collaboration with musicians Gwilym Morus-Baird,
Smita Bellur, Dare Khan Manganyar and Sawai Khan, for Rajasthan International Folk
Angharad has also written and performed in a number of filmed storytelling projects. Most recently, these have included a series of filmd for Dyfi Biosphere in 2017, a series of tales in under a minute, and short tellings for Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival in 2021. Here's a selection