We took, as our starting point, a simple tale from Azerbaijan. ‘A Bird Emerged from an Egg’ is an allegorical tale about human behaviour in a community. In Azerbaijani folklore the hawk is an important symbol. Old women also play an important part in society and are possessed of a high status. These two characters were symbols of the way in which communities react to one another. The challenge for the Year 10 students – the performers- was to consider equivalent symbols in the various communities we would work with and perform to.
a bird emerges from an egg
the bird learns to fly
an old woman and her animals appear
the hunters shoot the bird
the bird falls to the ground wounded
the old woman and the animals mock the fallen bird
a storyteller enters and encourages them to help bind the bird’s wing
the bird flies again
a huge storm blows up
the bird protects the people by battling against the elements
After several weeks investigating ideas, responses and themes which were explored, or suggested, in the tale we asked the performers to design a workshop for children in our target communities. Their aim was to find out the answers to a wide range of questions that had emerged form their initial exploration and research.