Value your everyday life, its fascinating

Ana Maria Lines - StorytellerBrazillian storyteller Ana Maria Lines will once again be joining us in the Yorkshrie Dales. She blew audiences away at the 2014 Settle Stories Festival and we're expecting great things of her at the 2018 Settle Stories Festival.

Ana has led a fasinating life. She was born in São PauloBrazil. Her family origins range from African to Brazilian and Portuguese. She spent part of her childhood in the agricultural area of São Paulo, surrounded by Chinese and Japanese immigrants. Ana moved to England six years ago where her career as a storyteller has gone from strenght to strenght. Ana has developed a unique style by observing the relationship between tribes and some communities with traditional stories, dance and music. She has a vast repertoire from folk tales and myths from Brazil to stories from around the world.

She's set for a packed weekend at the Settle Stories Festival, running workshops and performing several shows including the ever popular Reflecting Fridas. We reconnected with Ana in a short interview. Enjoy! 

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? 

A: My greatest achievement happens every time that I see one of my dreams turning into reality. I am privileged to say that my greatest achievement happened yesterday, today, and hopefully tomorrow.

I also like challenges. To move from my country, learn English at 45 years old and be able to perform in English was a big achievement .

Q: What inspires your creativity?

A: It is difficult to say, because it changes depending on the day, or project, or place. Normally people inspire me. I adore listening to their stories, observing their lives. If we realised how much of our every day life is fascinating we would give much more value to it. I adore music and films , and sometimes a lyric or quote from a film inspires me to write or to work on a new story.

Travelling is also a great font of inspiration.

Ana Maria Lines - StorytellerQ: Give one piece of advice to your younger self.

A: It sounds crazy,but I have been visiting my younger self frequently, and I always whisper in her ears stories about the wonderful future that is waiting for her . I tell her that there will be great and difficult moments, but the secret is to believe and never give up.

Q: Who is your artistic idol & why?

A: I don't have idols. But I was very much inspired by Frida Kahlo.  Her life was an example of determinations,  creativity, authenticity. She changed obstacles into advantages. Her example echo with my beliefs.

Q: What is your key goal with your artistic practice?

A: To build  bridges, connections. I enjoy all the stages of the creative process, from the first idea/dream to the final performance. But, to me,  it doesn't matter how much time, research or effort I put into a new show, I am only satisfied when I feel that a bridge has been building between me and the audience. I don't know if it makes sense, but to me, storytelling is not a monologue, but a kind of magic dialogue of emotions and experiences between the teller and the listeners.

Q: What are the stakes? What happens if you fail?

A: If one is not prepared to take risks, one does not deserve success. It is a little extreme, I know, but everything in life requires effort and a pint of risk.  If some of my plans doesn't succeed I take a good look at it, I try to learn and I move on. The biggest failure is not to try.  

Q: If you could be any literary character, who would you be and why?

A: There are lots of literacy characters that I adore. But it has to be the first one from my childhood Emilia (Sitio do Picapau Amarelo by Monteiro Lobato). I learned about brazilian folktales through the amazing work of the genius Monteiro Lobato. Emilia is one of his most strong characters, she is a "speaking doll ", very opinative, a doll who knows how to impose herself  and escapes from the stereotypes of a  doll - delicate, fragile.

Q: What would your epitaph say?

Working in progress ...Not ready yet.

Ana Lines is performing On the Wings of Butterflies, a show about love and seduction, Reflecting Fridas (tickets are selling fast for this, so get yours now if you don't want to miss it) and she's also holding a storytelling workshop Create a Personal Narrative

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