As Cores Do Brasil: Emilie Andrade At Settle Stories
Steve Whitaker, Literary Correspondent
An expert in the expressive arts, Brazilian Emilie Andrade counts theatre, dance and education amongst her drivers. Discovering storytelling in 2010, it is easy to see how her formative training gave expression to the power of stories through movement and drama.
No surprise to learn that under the expert guidance of three of the world’s leading exponents of storytelling – Gislayne Matos, Dan Yashinsky and Laura Simms – Emilie has performed at national and international festivals in Cuba, Dominica, Iran and Mexico.
Onwards and upwards, as they say. In more recent times, Emilie has moved to a rural area of Brazil to set up artistic residencies for other practitioners and to develop her own storytelling skills in a place of tranquility.
On World Storytelling Day on 23 March, Emilie will be livestreaming a performance direct from South America to Settle Stories as one of their 7 Storytellers from 7 continents event.
A recent interview with Emilie Andrade gave us a taste of what we might expect:
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Well, there are many moments that really touched me while being a storyteller. Right now two great moments come to mind. One can be considered an “outside” achievement, I mean that other people will recognise. And the second one is an “inside” one, that only I know happened.
The first one was being invited to participate in a storytelling festival in Iran. It was amazing not only because of getting to know the country, the people and their culture but also because it was something so out of reach for me. I never ever even dreamt about the possibility of going there.
The second one happened last year while performing in a festival in another state here in Brazil. I was in the stage, the audience was engaged, I was feeling good. That doesn’t mean the performance went perfectly, but I knew it was going well. And while telling a story I heard a very deep voice inside me saying “that’s what you were born to do, that’s where you have to be”.
And even before the words came, I was feeling that way.
What inspires your creativity?
Arts in general. Reading poems, drawings, watching movies, listening to music. Every time I feel a little empty I reach for those things and I’m filled again.
Give one piece of advice to your younger self.
Just keep going, just keep listening to that voice in your heart and keep going. You are doing great!
Who is your artistic idol & why?
That’s a nice one, because one of my biggest inspirations in storytelling and life will be with us at this great event. Laura Simms. I met her here in Brazil seven years ago in a workshop and since then she keeps inspiring and teaching me. Her deep knowledge combined with her precise performance makes listening to her an extraordinary experience.
What is your key goal with your artistic practice?
I tell stories to build bridges. Bridges inside and between people. Artistically this translates as a continuous practice of presence, deep listening and refining how the words come out of my mouth/body.
If you could be any literary character, who would you be and why?
There’s a Brazilian author, one of our greatest, called João Guimarães Rosa and he has a short story called “The girl from there”.
It is a beautiful story about a little girl, very small and quiet, and suddenly her magic starts to come true, everything she says starts to come true.
That’s why I’d like to be her.
What words would you like on your epitaph?
A poem by a Venezuelan poet called Ludovico Silva which was given to me as a present from a great friend and Venezuelan storyteller called Flora Ovalles.
It goes like this:
“Sea cual fuere mi destino, yo vivo y no quiero morir de muerte sino de vida pura.”
A rough translation would be.
“Whatever is my destiny, I live and I do not want to die of death but of pure life”.
World Storytelling Day, 2019. 7 Storytellers from 7 continents.
Settle Stories, The Joinery, Settle.
Saturday, 23 March, 6pm.
More information: https://www.settlestories.org.uk/emilie-andrade
As Cores Do Brasil: Emilie Andrade At Settle Stories, 12th March 2019, 10:55 AM