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THROUGH A TEACHER’S EYES: Odds Bodkin’s Zoom Storytellings for Schools/Watch Video

THROUGH A TEACHER’S EYES: Odds Bodkin’s Zoom Storytellings for Schools work well for 2021.

I’d just finished a long day on Zoom visiting a school full of 5th and 6th graders. Beginning with an hour-long show, GOLDEN RULE II–three fun and absorbing musical stories filled with conversation points about kindness and empathy–I followed up with six workshops. Laura Piccolo, the school’s Language Arts Coordinator, had sent me a list of topics she wanted covered. She’d even requested a workshop about how music enhances emotions in stories.

Here’s a video of our conversation that afternoon.

With the pandemic easing, not only am I always available via Zoom for schools, but I’ve decided to journey forth into the world again to do live shows.

Her school also purchased an EPIC DRIVE for its library–a collection of all my audio stories.

 

as well as copies of THE CRANE WIFE, one of my children’s picture books.

It was a full arts and literary experience for her school.

Visit https://www.oddsbodkin.net/educational-programs/ to learn how you can bring such a program to your or your child’s school.

 

Odds Bodkin’s DANIKA THE ROSE Livestreams May 23rd! Two Great Singers, A Renowned Pianist, An Up And Coming Actor and A Versatile Storyteller Together on Stage

A Total Cast of Five

Joined by sopranos Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer, with Brett Ashley Robinson playing Danika and Jonathan Ware playing Dvorak on the piano, author Odds Bodkin performs his newest spoken-word story with music, live onstage in Philadelphia.

A blend of classical singing and live storytelling

Similar to Peter and the Wolf, the show features narrations deepened by what inspired the story itself: Dvorak’s Moravian Duets. These twenty-three songs, gloriously sung by MacNeil and Shafer, tell a tale of love and war mixed with jealousy, pride and privilege. Maximilian is the Duke; Danika is the stunningly beautiful peasant girl from the village who becomes his obsession; and Dano is the gamekeeper she loves. Elements of magical realism—ghost birds who speak and stags that fight like an army—add a supernatural magic to this new stage work.

Enjoy the broadcast debut Sunday, May 23rd at 3 pm EST. Six cameras will video livestream the performance! Get your tickets today!

Presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

DANIKA THE ROSE

May 23, 2021 at 3 pm EST on LIveStream

Starring Jazimina MacNeil, Sarah Shafer, Brett Ashely Robinson and Odds Bodkin. Music by Jonathan Ware.

DANIKA THE ROSE Classical Music Adult Fairy Tale Streams Live from Philly May 23rd

How did Danika the Rose, a new work soon to be live-streamed from the American Philosophical Society stage in Philadelphia, arrive on the American classical music scene?

It’s a story worth telling.

I’m Odds Bodkin, and I wrote Danika the Rose. Soon I’ll be performing it onstage with four other people for the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia. It’s an adult fairy tale, interwoven with songs by Dvorak. Yes, I wrote it, but I didn’t do it alone. In the next few blog posts I’ll tell that curious story.

It begins back in the fall of 2018. I was visiting the Thoreau School in Concord, MA with my guitars and harp, warming up before the flood of schoolkids arrived for their performance, when a young woman stepped into the empty auditorium and walked up to the stage.

“Mr. Bodkin,” she said, “I have a proposition for you.”

Well, I thought, that’s quite the opening statement. “And you are?” She was quite pretty, late twenties, early thirties.

“Jazimina MacNeil. I’m a classical singer.”

Taking note of the name, I stopped playing my harp to listen.

“I’ve been a fan of yours for years,” she went on, “and I have a project I hope to interest you in.”

Obviously she’d learned I was performing here on this day. Well, you’ve got initiative and nerve, I thought, harping once again. “Go on, please.”

“A soprano friend and I sing Dvorak’s Moravian Duets together, but they’re little-known works.” I’d always loved Antonin Dvorak’s symphonies, especially From the New World, but wasn’t aware of any duets. “And so to bring them to a wider audience,” she went on, “I thought using them in a story might help.”

Ah, I thought, so that is why you are here, Jazimina.

“And I’d like you to write it,” she finished.

“You’re talking about a commissioned work.”

“Yes, I am. An adult fairy tale. One that uses all twenty-three duets. They’re all sung in Czech.”

“Any English translations?” I asked, assuming this would be for American audiences.

“Yes, but we’re not going to use them.”

A spoken-word fairy tale with obscure 19th Century art songs sung in Czech? Now there’s an easy sell to Americans, I thought.  But then again, I like fairy tales, psychic whirligigs that they are, and writing one would be fun, especially if I were going to be paid for it. Peter and the Wolf came to mind.

I gave her my email address and told her to send me a proposal. She left before I could speak with her again.

Little did I know what a work of art we would create.

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Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents

Danika the Rose

 

With Jazimina MacNeil, Sarah Shafer, Jonathan Ware, Brett Ashley Robinson

and Odds Bodkin

 

Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 3 pm EST

 

For Livestream tickets visit Philadelphia Chamber Music Society

 

WHEN THE ANIMALS SPOKE: A Summer Reading Zoom Show for Libraries

Since last June, Odds Bodkin has been offering full-screen storytelling concerts on Zoom.

Loyola University watched The Iliad: Book I and students stood to applaud, even though they were all at home.

Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA, unable to host his winter series live on stage this past winter, forged ahead with a Zoom series; adult ticket holders loved it and came back again and again.

Elementary schools that postponed their residencies during the pandemic spring re-booked, and all those school kids are now singing along from behind their masks.

Yes, vaccinations are on their way, but summer 2021 might still be a little early for live shows in enclosed spaces, and so Odds is offering a new Zoom show to library communities. Echoing the Collaborative Summer LIbrary Program’s summer reading theme for 2021, Bodkin has created WHEN THE ANIMALS SPOKE, a collection of four of his best animal stories for kids and families.

 

WHAT STORIES ARE IN THE SHOW?

 

The Name of the Tree

Of all the thirsty, starving animals on the African savanna, only the little tortoise with the big heart remembers the name of the magical tree. When he speaks it, down tumble giant fruits, filled with water and filled with food. Odds has always been interested in myths about the universal Tree of Life, and this tale is a kid-sized version of that myth, filled with sounds and yes, talking animals.

Told with African thumb piano.

The Fox and the Cat

Aesop never failed to tell the pithiest of truths, and this fast little tale told with Celtic harp is no exception. A fox is bragging to his friend the cat about how many ways the fox knows to escape the dogs of the hunters, but when the dogs appear, it turns out the fox has never really tried any of them at all. That spells trouble.

How the Animals Stole Back Fire

Myths about the origin of fire are universal. Prometheus the Titan, as the Greeks tell it, brought fire down from Olympus and gave it to humankind. Australian Aborigines were given fire, but were no longer one with the animals afterwards. In this show’s How the Animals Stole Back Fire, a Native American myth of the Maidu of the Northwest Coast, Odds tells the tale of how Thunder and his Three Evil Daughters steal the animals’ fire. Soon deer, bear, fox, mouse, lizard, wolverine, all the animals, begin to die off from winter’s cold. The tale Odds tells is how they discover where their fire is, and in desperation, how they steal it back.

Told with alto recorder.

Tale of the Kittens

What can go wrong in a fairy tale about singing kittens and a talking mother cat? In a secret world beneath a giant cauliflower no less? It turns out plenty can go wrong if you don’t treat the kittens right. Kids love this quirky and funny Italian fairy tale told with 12-string guitar and a catchy song.

During Odds Bodkin’s Zoom shows, the storyteller is up close. Everyone has a front row seat. So if you know a librarian, please pass along this post!  Thanks!

For more information, visit https://www.oddsbodkin.net/educational-programs/

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight at 5 pm…Live on ZOOM…Odds Bodkin’s Fairy Tales for Smart Girls!

“a consummate storyteller”–The New York Times

Join Odds Bodkin tonight for four amazing and fun fairy tales about smart girls. Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and Bodkin has created this special show–including a new story from Italy–for the event. You can sing along with two of the tales, so get your voice ready.

The show comes to you via ZOOM at 5 pm EST. Grab your ticket and log in for a full-screen storytelling performance with characters, sound effects and live music on 12-string guitars and Celtic harp.

And if you have a question for Odds after the show, he’ll stay online to chat.

 

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST on ZOOM

Tickets: $25 per screen

 

Where Did the Fairies Hide Their Souls? Find Out Sunday Night…

Wherever the evil fairies souls are, they aren’t in their bodies, and since no one in the village knows where they are hidden, no one can do away with them. Instead, the fairies are free to lean out the windows of their giant stone house and yell at people.

Worst of all, children disappear in the village and no one knows where they are, either.

Unknown to her, Prezzemolina has been promised to the fairies since before she was born. Now that she has come of age, they want her.

Her only protection is that she is pure of heart.

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Join Odds Bodkin as he tells this rare and wondrous Italian fairy tale, self-accompanied on 12-string guitar.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.

 

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

Live on ZOOM on Sunday, March 7 at 5 pm EST.

Grab your ticket and sit back with your family to enjoy Prezzemolina and three other fairy tales for and about smart girls. All Odds’ stories are told with character voices and live acoustic music.

 

Tickets: $25 per screen

Humor from SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: FAIRY TALES FOR SMART GIRLS on Zoom March 7

In a world where all women are expected to spin to make clothes, Kelsa finds it so boring she outright refuses to learn to do it. This exasperates her mother to no end, and they argue about it every morning by their open door.

And so when the Queen shows up looking for an industrious young woman to wed the Prince, and half-overhears the two women arguing about spinning, she pokes her nose into the kitchen and asks what the woman’s lovely daughter has done. Shocked, Kelsa’s mother lies, and tells the Queen it’s just that her daughter won’t quit spinning, she loves it so.

The royal carriage rolls quickly to the castle and the Queen leads Kelsa into a dungeon where, from floor to ceiling, bales of unspun flax surround a lonely spinning wheel. “Here we are! Paradise! Now, if in three days you can spin all this into linen thread, then you may marry my son!” says the Queen cheerfully. “But, if you fail, well, we’ll just have to chop off your head.” She smiles sweetly. “Bye bye!”

How Kelsa survives all this and ends up the Princess without spinning a single inch of thread is the substance of this hilarious Grimm’s fairy tale.

See and hear Odds Bodkin tell it live on Zoom this coming Sunday, March 7 at 5 pm EST. Join the crowd that’s gathering. Got a question for the artist? There’s a live Q&A afterwards!

Music on two 12-string guitars and Celtic harp.

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

Odds Bodkin live on Zoom

Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST

Tickets: $25

Tale of the Kittens from SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls with Odds Bodkin

It’s not easy living with a lazy sister and an imperious mother.

Since Marie is the only daughter willing to do the work, and her sister won’t lift a finger, it’s Marie who ends up doing everything. Hanging out the laundry. Sweeping off the front porch. Weeding the garden. Washing the dishes.

But because Marie does these things, and because she’s courageous and curious, it’s she who discovers the world of kittens beneath the giant cauliflower on the hill.

It’s she who hears the catchy song.

And it’s she who is given the beautiful gifts.


Come listen, watch and enjoy The Tale of the Kittens, one of four fairy tales for smart girls that Odds Bodkin will perform this coming Sunday, March 7th at 5 pm EST on Zoom. These stories are appropriate for all ages. Music on 12-string guitars and Celtic harp. Plus lots of silly voices.

Tickets: $25 per screen

 

 

FAIRY TALES FOR SMART GIRLS Live Odds Bodkin Storytelling on Zoom Sunday March 7

Join Odds Bodkin on Zoom to enjoy four rollicking fairy tales for smart girls told with characters, narration and music.

The Wise Little Girl, Prezzemolina, The Tale of the Kittens and The Three Spinning Fairies. These are Bodkin’s best stories for smart girls.

Coming up next week on ZOOM. Get your tickets today!

Tickets: $25

Tonight 5:00-6:30 pm, Odds Bodkin is on Full-Screen Zoom to Tell BEOWULF

Scored throughout with haunting and beautiful music on 12-string guitar, here is Odds Bodkin’s renowned storyteller’s version of Beowulf, a thousand year old Viking tale of darkness and light.

The monsters lurk in the fens, staring down the cliffs at the humans, tiny creatures who sing in their feasting hall to push back the night. The first monster, Grendel, who towers to the height of many men, hates the singing. With his enchanted fur to protect him and his wolf fangs to tear apart flesh, he attacks and takes back thirty slain men to eat in his cave.

The Danes are terrorized. Every night, Grendel comes. They try iron, bronze, silver, even gold sword blades and spear points, but nothing can penetrate Grendel’s hide.

For twelve years, the monster feasts, until in a far off land, a great warrior–one who has a reason to be grateful to the Danes–decides to go on a mission of mercy to kill the beast.


First discovered in 1563 in a dusty library when it was already five hundred years old, Beowulf is the oldest known work in the English language, a classic in every sense. Odds Bodkin brings it to life tonight on full-screen Zoom.

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

Sunday Feb. 28 at 5:00 pm EST on Zoom

Not recommended for children

Tickets: $25

 

Sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA

Huddle Around the Zoom Fire Sunday Night for Beowulf

With 12-string guitar and Celtic harp, character voices and sound effects, master storyteller Odds Bodkin will perform his classic tale, BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, for adults this Sunday night at 5 pm EST. The tale contains mayhem and violence and is not recommended for children.

Shorn of its heraldic side stories, Bodkin’s version of Beowulf cleaves closely to the original thousand-year-old story of a thane who rescues an aged king from monsters that attack his hall. Filled with striking scenes and plenty of humor, the story translates vividly over Zoom.

 

Tickets are $25

 

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

ODDS BODKIN

MARCH 28, 2021 AT 5 PM EST ON ZOOM

 

This performance is sponsored by Grendel’s Den.

 

If You Have a Daughter, Buy This Ticket

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls is a live performance featuring master storyteller Odds Bodkin telling four great stories for daughters everywhere. Each tale is filled with live music and intriguing characters. No matter where you live, you can tune in via ZOOM on Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.

“a consummate storyteller” — The New York Times

“a modern-day Orpheus” — Billboard

Tickets: $25