SIGANA STORYTELLING PERFORMANCE is a ‘syncretic' performance art form developed over the years through relentless work by contemporary Kenyan performers of African oral traditions heritage. Diverse African performance elements consisting of dramatic narration, banter, chant, recitation, song, riddling, music, dance and movement are seamlessly woven to form highly interactive contemporary Storytelling theatre performances. The spoken word as expressed in wit, wisdom, proverbs, riddles, sayings, dilemma impasses come to life in dramatic presentations that seek to integrate performers and audiences into participatory experience of art.
The Sigana Storytelling program is presented variously as Fireside Tales, Schools Orature and young people's Encounter with Fantasy.
i. Sigana Fireside Tales Series: This is the special presentation of interactive Africa Oral Folklore performances to general family audiences within Nairobi City. The performances consist of re-devised tales collected from across the vast number of the communities found in Eastern Africa. Often, the performances are built around contemporary topical social issues as seen from traditional knowledge perspectives. This program provides urban folks with creative opportunities to participate in recreating the well-known traditional evening fireside moments of wisdom sharing.
ii. Sigana Schools Orature Performances: This is a Participatory Educational Theatre (PET) program conducted as an outreach to high school students across Kenya. Students and their teachers are taken through practical and highly participatory performance based learning process of African Oral Literature. This program is developed as a supportive addition to schools' study curriculum syllabus.
Contents of the orature program revolve around participatory dramatic storytelling rendition of known Myths, Legends, Animal Tales, Dilemma Tales, Human/Ogre Tales. Contemporary written African Short Stories are also covered under this program. The performances are prepared and presented to schools on invitational basis.
iii. Encounter with Sigana Fantasy: Using tales, dance and chants, young children of elementary school level are trained on how to interpret their world through the use of language and other supra-linguistic expressive approaches. Through the use of interactive Sigana performance, children are creatively facilitated to mentally explore and discover the wonderlands tied closely with their immediate physical environment.
All performances are devised and presented by the vastly talented and experienced Zamaleo Sigana Storytellers