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Storyteller makes third performance

DEMOPOLIS &8212; For storyteller Dolores Hydock, the art of storytelling is much like the art of dance. Once you learn the basic steps each dancer, or storyteller, goes on to develop his or her own style.

That&8217;s how this Pennsylvania native crafted her own version of telling Southern folklore. Although not originally from the region, Hydock fell in love with traditional Southern tales while studying American Studies at Yale.

Now a veteran performer, she travels the country telling her own version of these folktales, some original material and adapted literary tales. But she likens her performance style more to traditional stage theater than what most people think of as Southern storytelling, or as she calls it &8212; &8220;sitting on the porch rocking and lying.&8221;

Hydock will bring her arsenal of storytelling abilities to Demopolis on Sunday for her third performance in the River City. She first came in 1991 and later in 1993, delighting audiences with her characterizations, quirky sense of humor and tales that touched hearts.

She also views storytelling as a partnership between the teller and the listener, in which each party does his or her part in making a performance what it ultimately becomes.

In an increasingly digital and computer-driven world, Hydock said there is much to be valued about the value of storytelling, which in its own way is a kind of alternate reality.

Hydock has another passion in her life, Cajun and zydeco dancing, which she participates in through Birmingham Association for Cajun Musical Enthusiasts. Although she doesn&8217;t have children of her own, Hydock said she views both of these venues for creative expression as her children.

From her very first performance at the age of five at a Reading, Pa. summer program, Hydock said she was hooked.

Dolores Hydock will perform &8220;Age Before Beauty, and Other Stories of Spring&8221; at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 20 at the Old School on Main Theater. The event, sponsored by the Two Rivers Arts Council, is free to members and $10 for general admission.