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ASIAN CANADIANS > Traditions & Storytelling

Picture of Ariel BaleviAriel Balevi | Born in 1964, he is a storyteller originally from Montréal. He has been performing in Toronto since 1999 as well as in festivals in Ottawa and Washington D.C. In Toronto, he has performed at various venues and at events organized by the Iranian diaspora community in Toronto. These include the popular Persian cultural festival of Tirgan, held at Toronto's Harbourfront in the summer of 2008, and at events organized by the Iranian Students Union at the University of Toronto (IAUT).

His repertoire includes stories from the folklore and classical literatures of Iran and Turkey. These stories derive from such sources as the Shahnameh, the Haft Paykar, the Masnavi of Rumi and Thousand and One Nights. Picture of Ariel Balevi when telling a story Ariel has an interest in cross-cultural influences in storytelling, which has led him to explore different kinds of narratives, from his current repertoire to the European fairy tale and monastic legends of Georgia.

As a child of parents who emigrated from Turkey, Ariel is familiar not only with the interaction of different cultures but also a living oral storytelling tradition that encompasses not only traditional and literary stories but also personal family stories of diaspora.

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