THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: She came all dressed up, like a princess from a fairy tale. Wearing an elaborate and fancy gown, she introduced herself as ‘Alegria’. Accompanying ‘Alegria’ was her friend ‘Tempo’ the musician. ‘Alegria’ who had come to narrate stories, soon became the cynosure of all eyes.
These were scenes played out at the recent musical story-telling workshop organised by children’s library schoolkutti.com in the city. French theatre artiste Francoise Calvel as ‘Alegria’ narrated the stories to the children.
It was a picture of fun at the children’s library as it struck 5 pm on Saturday. The atmosphere was one filled with anticipation as Calvel came down the stairs and stopped midway, beckoning the audience of children and parents sitting below to come upstairs. As each child passed her by, she nodded with a graceful smile muttering ‘hello’ to each one of them. There were even a few stiffled giggles from the kids as Calvel’s face changed into a myriad of expressions, one moment smiling and the next looking far away with a frown.
As all the kids filed inside the room upstairs, ‘Alegria’ began narrating stories, accompanied by the musician ‘tempo’. The first story was ‘Wombat Goes Walkabout’ by Michael Morpurgo. The children were listening with rapt attention as ‘Alegria’ started acting all animated. Her face became a flurry of emotions as she enacted the part of each character-from the shy Wombat, the mischievous possum and the lazy koala to the majestic and fiery Kookaburra. One moment, it was that of panic and the next, exhilaration as the kids lapped in the details. Next came Blue and other Diaries by Suniti Namjoshi, which talks about the character’s love for the colour blue. Again Calvel kept the audience entertained, changing into the shoes of Suniti and her friends. Occasionally, she interacted with the kids, encouraging them to sing along with her.
Calvel concluded the session by narrating a very small story of a girl who was born with wings. Though her neighbours ask her parents to cut them or even clip them off, they wouldn’t, said Calvel, elaborating the story in the form of a musical. Concluding the story, she stated that the parents told the neighbours that they want to teach the girl how to fly, winding up the storytelling session by telling the kids to dream and fly high.
The event was for children from the age of 5 to 12. The children’s library is situated at Elankom Gardens at Vellayambalam in the city.