Storyteller from Ireland lands at ISC to offer talesStoryteller Niall de Búrca, of Ireland, has one of those accents. It’s the kind of accent that makes every word sound like singing; the kind of accent that would sound good reading the phone book.
Just hearing him describe the types of tales he plans to share as Jonesborough’s next teller in residence is a performance in itself.
“There will be tales of ghosts,” he says. “Tales of kings, of warriors! Tales of derring-do, and long times past, and also last week.”
De Búrca has been drafted by the International Storytelling Center as the next performer for its Storytelling Live program.
The week of his residency, July 24-28, he’ll perform daily at 2 p.m. at the ISC.
One half of the storyteller’s mission is to promote traditional Irish culture in his home country.
“I’m very conscious that I sit in a tradition,” he says. “It’s very important for me to pass that tradition on. That’s at the core of my work. Irish young people today, they might have rap or they might have soccer, but at the same time they know that they have this great cultural tradition. My job is to fire them up and get them involved.”
The other half of his mission is to transmit the Irish idiom to the rest of the world by performing across the globe.
The U.S. is one of his favorite places to tour.
“America is a huge place in the Irish imagination,” he explains. “It’s a real privilege to go to places in America where Irish people settled down through the centuries and to be able to reconnect through my stories. Then I take stories home from America to share with the Irish, so they know what a great country you have over there across the water.”
De Búrca’s infectious enthusiasm helped make him a fan favorite at the National Storytelling Festival, where he performed in 2009. Now he can’t wait to get back to storytelling country.
“I’m licking me lips to get back into the heart of American storytelling there in Appalachia,” he says. “I’m feeling 50 feet high. I’m just delighted to get the opportunity to be over again.
“Folks are trying to get by and do the best they can,” he continues. “I think storytelling is an integral part of that. It brings a smile to people’s lips and makes them feel good in their heart. It gives them strength to push on.”
Tickets are $12 for adults and $11 for seniors, students and children. For more information, call 913-1276.