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To what extent can storytelling as a ritual be used as a dramatic force to celebrate the experience of an individual?

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Introduction

To what extent can storytelling as a ritual be used as a dramatic force to celebrate the experience of an individual? Since the beginning of time, humans have been telling stories to each other. From the cave man days without language, through to the Greek and Roman empires, through to today, and even as I type, there is probably a story being told to someone. Stories, however first came to being dramatised (or so it is thought) back in the days when we were cave men. At the end of each day groups of people would sit round a fire and relate, to each, their days, by acting them out. In ancient Greece storytellers would tell epic stories about the heroes of the past, and of their Gods and Goddesses. In a way their stories were like a ritual because they were always about gods, or sons of gods, or goddesses and in a way it became ritual to add them in to a story. It also became a ritual in the way that the stories were told, and past down from generation to generation. ...read more.

Middle

The group I was in did a ritual performance about money, which was very important and help full to me. As I analysed our performance I began to think of my own life and how the performance we produced was very much like a story of what had happened to me. Based around the work of David Bueys, and his work of healing and cleansing of an experience, I found that our ritual piece in which we are forced to sign our lives away to banks, and to debts was like an experience of mine that I recently had in which I found myself three thousand pounds in debt to a bank and with no means of being able to pay it off. Luckily my parents came to the rescue (good old parents!!) but I found that by telling the story as a ritual it helped me come to terms with what had happened to me. Tim Etchells, of Forced Entertainment once said that 'writing (a story) is a kind of acting.'3. When I first heard this, I was a bit bemused by what he meant by it. ...read more.

Conclusion

As well as having less obvious rituals in place, they was also a lot of chanting of the Norse holy book as well as a man hanging upside down from his ankle to represent Odin. This was a performance called the 'Eight Gates'.5 Today story telling as a ritual is still going on. There are numerous theatres depicted to just this, and in its stories it is either, celebrating, or, commiserating, life's experiences. There are groups such as Forced Entertainment or the Metamorphic Ritual Theatre group who are celebrating experiences through ritual. There are also theatres devoted to ritual storytelling such as Lalish ritual-theatrelab in Vienna. There are also festivals such as the Brighton Occulture Festival, which are all for ritual story telling. All theses examples, and the once that I have experienced are here to show how story telling as a ritual can be used as a dramatic force to celebrate the experience of an individual, or of a myth that has grow out of an individuals experience. 1 Ritual Theatre. Pg 59 2 Ritual Theatre. Pg 59 3 Interview with Tm Etchells in Alternative Theatre.com 4 From Forced Entertainments Website 5 Metamorphic Ritual Theatre's Website. ...read more.

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