Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Last Sunday, Dan Yashinsky and I told stories at our event at the GYMC and Bamidele gave us Yoruba traditional songs to the talking drum and some hi-life too.Actually the whole weekend was extreme.

On Friday evening, 24th November, we were at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival Extravaganza and silent auction. It was a very pleasant evening where Guelph's artsy dance crowd gathered for a sneak peek of the 2007 festival artists and to dance salsa to Mambo Nation's latin groove. Afroculture donated a baby djembe, the Griot's Journey DVD and the children's book 'My African Dance Class' to the GCDF for auctioning. The music was good and the dancing fun. I met Jay Shute, percussionist on my way out but it was Judi who convinced me to come back again after running my last errand of the night. I was glad I did.

Saturday afternoon, 25th November we were signing books at the Bookshelf for Children's Book Week: Jean Little, Jo Ellen Bogart, Kathy Stinson, Renna Bruce and I, sitting side by side, eating nuts, chatting and signing. Then at 5 o'clock Fule and I supported Bamidele's Artists for Development fundraiser.

The next day was D-day which I had been planning for about a month: Extreme Storytelling! Was it going to be possible to get Guelphites out on a Sunday night for adult storytelling? The prize was Dan Yashinsky: master storyteller, founder of the Toronto festival of storytelling, co-founder of the Toronto School of Storytellers, and the 1001 nights of storytelling. Dan is a great guy, he tells fabulous stories and is able to take his listeners into the magic web he weaves by his telling. He is also a good teacher and very generous to fellow storytellers, giving great advice and opportunities to help develop the craft. I think everyone should hear him in Canada. It was an honour to bring him over.

The night went well. Although we did not fill the hall it was a tidy audience of supportive listeners. There were a few storytellers there, Ann Estill and Brad Woods to name two of them. There were also a few kids who interacted very well and often supplied answers to Dan's dilemmas and riddles. Then ofcourse there was Prince Bamidele Bajowa with his talking drums and mini bata ensemble. The night passed well with stories of extreme risk and risky undertakings. You should have heard the stories. I told my stories from the Soninke people of West Africa, Angola and Ghana. Dan told a Jewish tale, a Russian story and a true story told him by a bus driver in the States. This is the story of my extreme weekend!

1 comment:

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