Each one of us has a story to tell. It is exactly this thought that prompted the trio of Gaurav Kapur, Roshan Abbas and Ankur Tewari to launch Kommune, a collective of artists, producers, patrons, collaborators and art lovers. But storytelling platforms are dime a dozen, so what separates this celeb-floated outfit from the rest? NearFox finds out.
The first thing that strikes the mind is the ‘K’ instead of the ‘C’ in Kommune. But it isnt an Ekta Kapoor influence, quips Roshan Abbas, and tells us that the K represents the sharing sign. At ‘The Storytellers’, their series, you can share stories alongside celebrity speakers like Sandhya Mridul, Mini Mathur and Arunoday Singh. Can you hope for a better audience? We doubt.
Reviving the lost art
“Indians are great storytellers, theyre just shy to speak up, says Roshan. One of the driving ideas behind ‘The Storytellers’ was to rid people of this shyness. So, the first couple of sessions might make you all jittery, but stage fright gradually goes out of the window.
The organisers keep experimenting with the format, and there are no restrictions on the speaker, except the stories have to be real and bite-sized, i.e., not exceed seven minutes.
This is how a typical session pans out: it begins with a ‘Hobby’ session, where the best stories are handpicked, which then get a shot in the ‘Pro’ session. Tickets for the ‘Pro’ session cost Rs 500, which means the non-serious are kept at bay and only those with some level of genuine interest make it to these sessions.
A diverse audience
So who else is in attendance apart from some sassy Page 3 personalities, you ask? All their events, be it The Storytellers, Beat Poetry (where people recite poetry to music beats) or The Reading Room (sessions where you read on a topic curated by someone), have a highly diverse audience. Which means you are likely to spot an 18-year-old college student as also 45-year-olds.
What you can expect
Over just a year, Kommune has organised over 40 successful shows across India. This year, they plan on doing events in over eight cities, with one show every week. ‘The Storytellers’ and ‘Beat Poetry’ might be their flagship shows, but stuff like Improv sessions and Daastangoi (Urdu storytelling) are also in the works. Since ‘The Storytellers’ has been a phenomenal success, they are deliberating on compiling a book with the best of the lot. In fact, organisations are already approaching them to employ the performing arts in corporate training.
All in all, at Kommune, it is a never a one-man show. There is mutual appreciation, but no space for conceit. If you are looking for a real storytelling platform that cuts to the chase, has real stories and real performers, Kommune is where you should be headed. The tickets can be purchased at insider.in.