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Music & Artists

Ben Haggarty leading a storytelling workshop for students and Ensemble members at RISD


The Expression of Imagination
During the Silk Road Ensemble's Spring 2008 residency at RISDBen Haggarty led a two-night storytelling workshop for students and Ensemble members.

Ben Haggarty


"The most challenging task facing a storyteller, today, is making the stories of the past have valid meaning now. There are no scripts in storytelling. Each telling of a traditional tale is a unique improvised event. It is an interpretative art in which the tellers are simultaneously the authors, directors and performers of their words. My job is to try, in the dynamic moment of performance, to engage directly with all the potent energies existing between audience, story and storyteller - in this way 'a happening' may occur, something immediate, magical and memorable."


Ben Haggarty

Storyteller (United Kingdom) Since 1981, Ben Haggarty has been one of the prime forces behind the revival of the art of professional storytelling in Britain. He is internationally respected for his tellings of traditional tales for both adults and children, and for his knowledge and understanding of stories and of diverse storytelling traditions.

Equipped with a repertoire of over 300 carefully researched traditional narratives, he can explore many themes evoking many moods. He tells his stories with physical dynamism and glee.

Haggarty directed Britain's first-ever storytelling festival in 1985 and co-founded the annual Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival, Britain's premier storytelling festival. He is the artistic co-ordinator of the legendary Crick Crack Club —an international collective of outstanding storytellers. He has been a programming consultant for presenting organizations such as The Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe and The Barbican Centre.

Haggarty is Honorary Professor of Storytelling at Berlin University of the Arts (UDK). His most recent work has been the creation, with artist, Adam Brockbank, of 'MeZolith', a stunning Stone Age comic strip for the new British weekly comic, The DFC.

Haggarty is an advisor and storyteller for the Silk Road Project family concert series.

Artist website

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