Stelios Pelasgos Ph.D.

The Greek master storyteller

The red thread is bound

 In the spinning wheel around

Give it a kick and let it spin

 So that the tale can begin

 Traditional introduction to a Greek storytelling session

Greek society is a storytelling society. Oral communication in Greece is a delight (at least for the speakers). The style is dramatic. Gestures, raised voices, taps on the shoulder, squeezes, grimaces e.t.c. Sadly in the last decades, we are rapidly losing our oral way of thinking and interacting. Nowadays most people can only choose  between a brutal, abusive oral style and a “civilized” distanced style of fake politeness. Stories are no longer used in everyday exchanges and have almost vanished from nights at open air taverns.

 The revival of storytelling in Greece was initiated in 1990 by Stelios Pelasgos not as a theatrical or literary experiment but as a conscious effort to reinforce a rapidly declining orality and nurture the social function of storytelling. As all folk art form, storytelling seeks not only to provide aesthetic pleasure but also to be useful. The storyteller becomes the mortar that binds together the community. He offers entertainment, education, a sense of identity, healing and counseling, even spiritual guidance.

 The red thread is torn and cut in many places. I hope that my little knots will keep it spinning.