The stage is set for a high voltage mythological mash-up. Inspired by a central Indian epic-singing tradition, Pandvani108 has created a bold and exuberant new storytelling form, combining performance storytelling, movement, song, and stick wielding, to bring international myth and epic to the contemporary stage. This has more experimental excitement than you can shake a stick at…live and irresistibly direct!
‘playful, powerful, dynamic…a highlight of this year’s festival’ Director – Beyond the Border Festival
‘one of the most exciting things to emerge in contemporary performance storytelling’ The Crick Crack Club
Pandvani 108 clattered noisily onto the storytelling scene in 2011. We create and perform high energy performances of short sections of myth and epic using a technique that combines a storyteller, a ‘Ragi’ (whose interjections – both serious and comedic – spur the narrative ever onwards), and a deceptively ad hoc backing band. Energy, immediacy and a passion for the stories we tell is at the heart of what we do, which has been described by audiences as…
‘inspirationally brilliant’, ‘an unquestionable highlight’, ‘stunning’, and ‘totally addictive’
Pandvani108 perform in festivals, theatres, art centres, castles, caves, sea-shores and palaces…in fact – pretty much anywhere… We set out to make global myth and epic accessible and entertaining for contemporary audiences of all ages, without relying on any prior experience of storytelling or knowledge of the material we tell. We’ve devised a unique style and ensemble approach which can accommodate and enhance the individuality of the performers involved, and support structured improvisation.
Pandvani (also referred to as Pandavani) is a 3,000 year old epic storytelling tradition that still thrives in the rural, Chattisgarh region of central India. The name literally means the telling of the stories of the five brothers and the technique is used to tell the epic, The Mahabharata. Traditional Pandvani represents a rare unbroken professional oral performative tradition that dates back to the Bronze Age. Performances last anything from a few hours to a couple of days. Traditional payment used to be a piece of cloth, a coconut and a nutmeg, but today a contribution of Rupees is also given according to the generosity and wealth of the patron. Notable performers of Pandvani are Ritu Verna, Punaram Nishad, Riva Ram Gondeer and Teejan Bai.
EPIC SHORTS – PERFORMANCES FOR ADULTS
Pandvani108′s signature performances are made up of a series of short chunks of myth and epic (each running 7-12 mins long), from across the globe. These juke-box shows (fondly known as ‘epic shorts’) have been devised to take stories to audiences wherever they might be – whether that means performing in theatres, in a fruit and veg markets, or on the battlements of some remote castle. Our Epic Shorts shows are perfect for the browsing spirit of summer festivals.
SHOWS FOR SCHOOLS
With the support of Arts Council England, Pandvani108 have created an hour long performance of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, for upper Keystage 2 and lower Kayestage 3 pupils. The show toured schools in Kent in February 2013 and is now available for booking elsewhere.
‘The children were mesmerized and swept away into the magical world of Rama and Sita… Many members of staff felt that this was the best thing to come to the school for a long time’ Teacher, Bromstone Primary School.