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Kira Van Deusen

Kira Van Deusen

2498 W 5th Avenue

Vancouver, BC V6K 1S8

Phone:   604-893-8367

Email:    kiravan@shaw.ca

Website: www.kiravan.com

Available for storytelling with adults and/or children 6 and up. Storytelling in English and bi-lingual English-Farsi

Kira Van Deusen is a well seasoned storyteller and cellist based in Vancouver. For years she travelled extensively in Siberia's forests, tundra, and steppe learning stories and much more from the indigenous traditions. Later she travelled throughout Nunavut, recording the Inuit legend of the great shaman-hero Kiviuq. These stories formed the main part of her repertoire.

More recently, Kira became fascinated with Persian stories, language and culture and in 2012 spent a month in Iran, experiencing desert culture for the first time! Not only has this led to new traditional stories, but also to the telling of personal stories. Kira’s strengths as a storyteller include her warmth and humor, as well as the authenticity she brings to the telling, and the use of original music.

She is also a major proponent of epic telling in Canada. Kira says, In 1996 a Tuvan musician presented me with a book that would shift my storytelling in what I believe is its true direction — the long story. I translated it under the title "Woman of Steel," and it was the first story I told that took a whole evening, complete with instrumental and vocal music. I love the possibilities that arise when we sink in for a longer time, living with characters and situations as they develop. It gave me the chance to use different speaking styles in the same story and to develop music that had recurring themes and purposes.

Since then I have organized “epic weekends” around stories from China, Finland, Tibet, India, Persia, and Mali with multiple tellers. As well I have continued to perform “Woman of Steel” (Tuva), “The Horsetail Girl” (Sakha Republic), the Inuit “Kiviuq” and two selections from the Persian Shahnameh, "Zahhak and Fereydun" (with Allice Bernards) and "Zal and Rudabeh".

Music adds to the mix. In the words of storyteller Mariella Bertelli, Kira's cello music, as unlikely as it may seem, matches the vastness of the Northern landscape she evokes with her stories. The instrument's singular sound transports the listeners to another place and another time, when animals and people were still able to talk to each other. The music reflects the emotions portrayed, and sometimes provides the necessary pause to process these powerful stories.

For more information, including details on books and recordings, please visit: www.kiravan.com and  www.unipka.ca

“Storytelling communicates soul to soul!”


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