Elves, dragons and goblins descend on the island of Kea

Something magical will take place on the Profitis Elias path at midnight on July 19 on the island of Kea when Anthi Thanou and Panayiotis Koulelis will interpret Greek folk tales from Levissi in Asia Minor and Milos. Earlier in the day, the same magic will be present when Stelios Pelasgos, a storyteller of long-lost worlds, will narrate the story of Sir Gawain at the Kastriani Monastery. The Sixth Fairy-Tale Festival is scheduled to take place at the island’s Center for the Study and Dissemination of Myths and Folk Tales from July 12-20. The event’s artistic director is Giorgos Evgenikos. This year’s festival features a series of events including visual art exhibitions, puppet theater, traditional games, workshops for old and young, and of course, plenty of storytelling sessions. Some of the events will unfold late at night – think candlelit gatherings in hidden alleys, secluded beaches and deserted churches, accompanied by the sounds of old instruments and songs – magical indeed. Just as the art of storytelling is blossoming on an international level, Greek storytellers have rediscovered the thread of recounting tales of yore. Among this year’s storytellers are Sassa Voulgari, Magda Schneider, Dimitris Proussalis and Niki Kapari. The festival’s guest of honor is Bruno de La Salle, a pioneer of the art of storytelling in Europe as well as founding father of the Centre de Litterature Orale in France. Running parallel to the events are storytelling seminars. Admission to all events (except for the seminars) are free. For more information, contact the Center for the Study and Dissemination of Myths and Folk Tales,, tel 210.431.3332. Stelios Pelasgos: Living with invisible creatures Stelios Pelasgos is Greece’s first professional storyteller as well as an activist in the traditional storyteller’s revival movement. He lives in Pelion with his family, wild animals and what he calls «mythical, invisible creatures.» While on Kea, Pelasgos will present his book, «The Secret of the Storyteller,» recently published by Metaichmio. Kathimerini caught up with Pelasgos a few days prior to the annual festival. «The storyteller must listen. He must know when to keep quiet. The storyteller must be able to turn his audience into a community. The storyteller must be invisible,» said Stelios Pelasgos to Kathimerini. «While narrating, the storyteller carries on listening to the whispers, the movements and the images that spring from the audience.»