Tel: (+39) 349.8378830 - 339.6421465





Federazione Italiana Storytelling




anno di fondazione 2004

Compagnia di Storytelling




... l'arte di raccontare storie

21st February - 16th March 2019


AL NOOR ISLAND - Buhairah Corniche Road, Khalid Lagoon - SHARJAH (U.A.E.)


Theme of the festival: "A TREASURE OF WORDS"


Stories are a communal currency of humanity

Tahir Sha (Arabian Nights)

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

We acknowledge the support of Northlands Storytelling Network.

Click HERE and discover the PROGRAMME of the Festival !!!

Main sponsor:  SHUROOQ - Sharjah Investment and Development Authority

Click HERE and discover the 3 STOYTELLING WORKSHOPS of the Festival !!! The Storytelling Company are happy to announce three workshops run by some of the best known master storytellers of the International Storytelling Revival





Professional actress and storyteller with 20 years of experience, Paola Balbi is the most famous Storytelling artist in Italy and one of the most praised and renowned in the whole of Europe since 2003. She is artistic director of Raccontamiunastoria Storytelling Company, the leading storytelling Company in Italy and of the International Stortyelling Festival of Rome. She has been a founding member of FEST (Federation for European Storytelling), serving on the board for two years. She travels regularly all over the world with her storytelling performances both for adults and children and is considered one the best workshop leader and storytelling trainer of the world of the International Storytelling Revival. She is now taking her art and skills to Dubai, bringing the best of European Storytelling and artists to the middle East and at the same time exploring and experimenting the arabic folklore and story heritage in a view of promoting it in Italy and Europe. If you ever wondered how listening to Sherazade would have been like, come and let yourself be taken by Paola's words. She speaks Italian and English.

PAOLA BALBI (ITALY) Raccontamiunastoria and The Stortyelling Company Storyteller and artistic director of the project



Paola's business and stage partner, Davide is a very talented Italian actor and Storyteller. He is the co-artistic director of Raccontamiunastoria Storytelling Company and of the International Stortyelling Festival of Rome. He has been a member of the EC of FEST (Federation for European Storytelling), serving on the board for three years. He has travelled all over the world with his repertoire of tales and "musical stories". Davide has a warm, deep, extremely well trained voce, that made of him also a praised voice over artist in the film and tv industry in Italy. Alongside with being a performer in his own right, Davide is also a musician. He plays guitar, harmonica and several percussions. He accompany his storytelling and other tellers with improvised original live music.  Davide and Paola are famous in the international storytelling scene for telling in tandem the same story under the female and the male point of view. He speaks Italian, English and French.

DAVIDE BARDI (ITALY) Raccontamiunastoria co-artistic director, Storyteller, Actor and Musician



Germana is a young trained actress and talented storyteller. She has worked with Raccontamiunastoria for the last three years both as staff and artist at Storytelling Festivals. A true Roman Germana loves to tell stories about her ancient city and culture, but during her stay in Dubai she has developed a real passion for the Middle East, its traditions and stories. She speaks Italian and English.

Germana has already worked both as performer and as assistant to the Festival directors since the first edition of the Festival.

GERMANA DE RUVO (ITALY) Storyteller and assistant to the Festival artistic directors



Martina is a young talented storyteller and one of Paola Balbi's most brilliant disciples.

She has worked extensively with Raccontamiunastoria for the last five years both as staff and artist at Storytelling Festivals. She is founder of Storytelling Torino, Storytelling Company in the North of Italy. Martina loves to travel and discover stories from different cultures, but is also very passionate about traditional heritage stories related to the landscape of her native Dolomite mountains. She speaks Italian, German and English.

Martina has already worked both as perfomer and as assistant to the Festival directors since the first edition of the Festival.

MARTINA PISCIALI (ITALY) Storyteller and assistant to the Festival artistic directors



Mattia Di Pierro is a young actor and storyteller who studied drama in Rome. There he also starts his training as a storyteller with Paola Balbi and Davide Bardi and joins Raccontamiunastoria in 2014. He assists its Artistic Directors in the organization and promotion of the storytelling events. He is founder of Vulture Storytelling, that promotes this art in Basilicata through professional and international events. He is the youngest member of of the executive committee of F.E.S.T. (Federation for European Storytelling). His repertoire digs from myths and folklore of his native Basilicata and of all people who had an influence on it. Mattia speaks Italian and excellent English.

MATTIA DI PIERRO (ITALY) Storyteller and Actor



A storyteller and librarian, Mariella is a talented storyteller of Italian descent who focuses her work on the heritage of legends and myths both from Italy, the country where she grew up, and from Canada, her adopted country, on top of having a vast repertoire of world folk tales, and original family stories. She tours in Canada and internationally, telling to audiences young and old, from tiny tales to longer narratives. Mariella has taught storytelling courses and has presented a variety of workshops to adults, children and families; she has been a speaker on storytelling and is active in the storytelling world community.

In the last three years in Toronto,she has been directing storytelling ensemble shows to great acclaim. Her latest sold out performance was The Tale of Tales, with music by Vesuvius Ensemble.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.




Stand up comedian and natural storyteller well known in the Dubai scene, Lamya will be telling and translating some stories into arabic. Lamya is training as a professional storyteller with Paola Balbi and her performance at “Raccontaiunastoria International Storytelling Festival “in Rome last June has been a great success. Lamya has a passion for children and loves working with them. Her repertoire focus on traditional stories from Egypt and the Middle East and she is committed to travel and let the world know the beauty of the Arabic oral tradition. Lamya speaks Arabic and English as first languages and perfect Italian.

LAMYA TAWFIK (EGYPT - DUBAI BASED) Storyteller and translator into arabic



Dubai based, Indian-born artist Shereen Saif is a dancer, actor, storyteller, voice artist and researcher in the field of creative movement. She has spent over 2 decades studying Indian classical dance and is well versed in 3 different styles: Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kathak. She is a LAMDA certified acting professional and continues to train in ancient Indian theatre practices at Natanakairali (Kerala, India). Currently undertaking a Diploma in Storytelling affiliated to the University of Sweden and Scottish Storytelling Centre, she is associated with The Storytelling Company (Dubai) and Kathalaya (Bangalore) and has performed at festivals in the UAE, Italy and India.

SHEREEN SAIF (INDIA - DUBAI BASED) Storyteller and dancer



Fidaa is a storyteller, drama-in-education specialist, and actress, working with schools, organizations, and activist groups throughout Palestine, the Middle East, Europe, United States. She founded and directs the Kan Yama Kan Group "Kharareef" and Storytelling and Activism Residency . She is a member of Teatro Di Nascosto in Italy and the Jenin Freedom Theatre’s Playback Theatre Troupe and the Arabic school of Playback Theatre.




Halima Hamdane was born in Marocco where she was and raised with her grandmother stories. She initially undertook a career as Literature teacher in her own country, but later moved to France in 1987 and started to explore Storytelling as an artform and as a way to promote the oral traditional heritage of her native country through stories and legends. With her stories Halima carries forward a very ancient tradition and gently invites her audience to discover the Arabic culture and way of life. She often runs workshops as well, blending stories with puppetry or cooking traditional desserts. When she is telling in French sometimes Arabic springs out from an image as the only voice able to express "the untold". Halima considers herself an ambassador of the arabic tradition all over the world and she has been mesmerizing both children and adults alike with her tales for the past twenty years. Alongside her passion for the oral tradition, Halima is also a writer and she published novels and story collections.




From the field of theater and acting, and inspired by her grandmother ,she started her work as a storyteller, to be one of the first storytellers in Lebanon especially after the period of the war. She possesses a Masters research degree from the Lebanese official Uni. in acting and storytelling, and a PHD degree about story telling and education. She transferred the art of storytelling to the radio and Tv through tens of programs, and the stories of her country to the Arabic, African, European world. She is passionate by stories and storytelling, more than all her fields of professions.




Storyteller and drum player from Wales, Micheal is a leading artist in the Storytelling Revival in the UK. He is an award winning storyteller who travels the world telling stories to people of all ages. He tells stories from all over the world and is specialized in Welsh and Celtic material. Michael has told stories throughout the UK and Europe as well festivals in North and South America. In 2012 he won a coveted BASE (British Awards for Storytelling Excellence) Award. He can tell in English, Welsh, Portuguese and French.

MICHAEL HARVEY (WALES - UK) Storyteller and drum player



Xanthe is a writer and a performance storyteller of international renown touring festivals, schools and familyvenues all over South America, India and Europe. She is especially interested in stories that celebrate the sacred nature of feminine as manifested in nature, animals and powerful women. For the last 20 years she has told stories from all over the world but more recently has turned her attention to her home county of Sussex in the UK.




Born in London from Guyanese parents, Tuup is considered one of the most inspiring and inspirational storytellers from the afro -Caribbean community as well as the wider International Storytelling Community. He embodies the African oral tradition of the grio taking it to unmatched standard of excellence. Drummer, poet, singer and storyteller with 30 years of experience Tuup features regularly in the line of up the most established storytelling Festivals around the world. He tours regularly overseas for the British Council and has been commissioned on several project by The Art Council, BBC Radio 4 and channel 4. He is lead singer,

percussionist and lyricist of Trans-global Underground,

a well established London based group mixing Indian, Arabic, African and popular contemporary music with a reggae and techno expression.

GODFREY DUNCAN - T.U.U.P. (UK) Storyteller and drum player



Katie Knutson is a storyteller, teaching artist, and writer based in the United States. With a background in theatre and education, she spends most of her days using storytelling and drama in schools. Katie leads storytelling and arts integration workshops, and can perform for any audience, from preschoolers to adults. In addition to managing her own storytelling company, Rippling Stories, Katie has been a producer and organizer with many storytelling organizations in the US. Additionally, she writes for Storytelling Magazine and Co-Chairs the Youth, Educators & Storytellers Alliance. Katie loves to travel and gather stories wherever she goes! Find out more at




Melissa Baker is the fruit of an union of a ravingly enthusiastic Irish American father and an Appalachian hillbilly mother. With a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, she began directing plays in New Caledonia from 1994 to 1998. She was thrilled to work with Native Kanak performers to co-create the inaugural show for the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Center. She obtained an MFA from the University of California, Davis in 2003 where she began experimenting with transdisciplinary theatre. She integrated circus through her projects at “Cirque de Lomme”, France beginning in 2005. She moved to Ireland in 2007 and became enthralled with the storytelling tradition. After spending several years in Ireland, she established herself in France. She performs over a hundred shows a year in French and English at festivals in many lands. Find out more at

MELISSA BAKER (FRANCE/USA) Storyteller, singer

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