And now (drum roll), for your regularly scheduled blog post.
One example of not quite-so-literal storytelling is dance. I'm still sounding pretty biased here, considering the fact that I'm a dancer, but I have a point. I think. In the show Riverdance, a combination of modernized Irish dance, speaking, singing, other forms of dance, music, and visual sets is used to tell the story of Irish immigration. Although the events in Ireland that increased immigration and the trials immigrants faced in America are part of one group's story, Riverdance is an international hit because everyone can relate to feeling alienated and wanting a better life. Everyone can relate to being part of a family. Because immigration from Ireland such a broad, sweeping topic, the format works perfectly in telling a story of individuals that applies to humanity. I think that is what writers and artists in general try to do. Although their work may be singular, the best stories are the ones people can relate to on a human level.
As an Irish dancer, I can't really remember ever NOT knowing about Riverdance. Love it or hate it, anyone who has Irish danced knows about it. Tomorrow, I'm seeing the show for the first time since I was six years old. I can't even sit still as I'm writing right now. I don't think it will have lost the magic. I will appreciate it more because I know more about dance and because stories that we connect with on multiple levels never really leave us, but sort of linger around like nargles, getting in our brains and changing the way we see things.
Because I'm a shameless Irish dance freak, I'm linking you all to to a video of the opening number of Riverdance. I hope I can convert you.