Shared History 2015 The Indian Experience in SA

WSOA - Wits School of Arts
09/05/2015 12:56:09

The hallmark of the festival is its focus on events that offer South Africans the magic and allure of India.

Leading Indian performance arts company Teamwork Arts, in collaboration with the High Commission of India in South Africa, is proud to present the ninth edition of the annual festival Shared History, The Indian Experience in South Africa, from September 7-25, 2015.

Shared History, begun in 2007, is now a regular feature on the South African cultural scene. This festival of Music, Dance, Theatre, Comedy and Exhibitions showcases the best of contemporary arts and culture from India and South Africa, and explores the shared artistic bond and cultural history of the two countries and their recent pasts.

The festival opens with the Food festival at the Classic India Restaurant in Fourways from September 7 to 14. Chefs from India will provide the titillating gastronomical experience of Indian street food. The Musical must-see of the Festival is the unique collective of Rajasthani folk musicians highlighting Kutle Khan, a multi-talented world musician; in the Theatre slot is C Sharp C Blunt a play that looks at traditional gender roles as engrained by culture and classical performance training versus the woman as the globalised consumer living in a new market that caters to her every want and need; and to bring in a lighter mood there is Papa CJ, an established international comedian and Simmi Areff, the local comedian who spent a year undercover as a Wits Journalism student. Dance is represented by one of the foremost dance companies of India, The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble. Also on offer are a Wellness Workshop: Yoga and Sand Sculpting on Durban’s beach. The festival closes with the Photo Exhibition, Memory against Forgetting - a solo collection that chronicles the work of photojournalist, Ranjith Kally on September 25.

The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, regarded as one of the foremost dance companies of India, takes to the stage at the Wits Theatre, Braamfontein on September 10 and 11 and then moves to The Playhouse Company, Durban on September 13 and 14.

This highly sought-after Ensemble has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, from New York to Hawaii in the US and in Denmark, Holland, Portugal, the Middle-east, Singapore and Japan. Nrityagram blends Odissi, a classical Indian dance, with contemporary concepts to transport viewers to enchanted worlds. Odissi is characterised by sensuousness and lyricism and with movements that reflect the motifs of Orissa temple sculpture, it captures drum rhythms, melodies, as well as the poetic meaning of songs taken from the vast canon of Oriya music.

At The Playhouse Company Theatre, Durban on September 10 and 11, is the latest offering by Germany’s Flinntheater C Sharp C Blunt, the Indo-German collaboration that explores the realms of digital dramaturgy, repetition and user choices to create a new, hybrid form of theatre-meets-performance art. This one-woman show is a witty, humorous and satirical interrogation of what it is like being a woman in the entertainment industry today. C Sharp C Blunt will have one performance in Johannesburg at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square on September 14.

Shared History’s Comedy offering, featuring the established, international comedian Papa CJ and local comedian Simmi Areff, will have a performance at the Suncoast Supernova Cinema, Durban on September 12 and at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, on September 13. Papa CJ, widely recognised as the global face of cutting-edge Indian stand-up comedy will present his show Naked again at GIBS on September 15.

On September 12, Sudarsan Pattnaik, a world renowned Indian Sand Artist from Orissa will be down at the beach in Durban starting at 10:30 throughout the day, sand sculpting. Pattnaik started sculpting images on sand at the age of seven and has since designed hundreds of sand sculptures and won many national and international awards for his creative designs. His sand sculpture on ‘Black Taj Mahal’ earned him world-wide accolades. He has represented India at 50 international Sand Sculpture championships, of which he won 27. Most recently he was awarded the Padma Shri.

The Kutle Khan Project, is a unique collective of world musicians. Kutle Khan is a multi-talented world musician who has performed on various stages across the world. His music is as seductive as it is rhythmically complex. The Kutle Khan Project features Kutle Khan as singer, multi-instrumentalist and artistic director, Champe Khan on the harmonium and vocal Sarangi player, Dayam Khan with the Khartal, Gafur Khan playing the Bhapang and Morchang, Roshan Khan with the Tabla and Dholak and Laxmi Sapera as a Sufi dancer.

The Kutle Khan Project will have one performance in Johannesburg on September 13 at the Lyric Auditorium, Gold Reef City at 15:00.

The Food festival will run from September 7-14 at the Classic India Restaurant, Fourways, Johannesburg. In India, street food is legion and savoured by locals and overseas friends and visitors with equal gusto. Specialised chefs from India will provide the perfect gastronomical experience of Indian street food with carefully selected items that will reveal the diverse range of culinary delights from the delectable array of dishes that are available at roadside cafes, street corners, alleys and lanes in every village and city across the country.

Bringing the festival to a close on September 25 is the Photo Exhibition, Memory against Forgetting - a solo collection that chronicles the work of photojournalist, Ranjith Kally at GIBBs University. Johannesburg. Kally, one of the most prolific and important photojournalists on South Africa’s recent past, gives a first-hand, on the ground perspective of a country in upheaval and a society divided between the favoured and the dispossessed. This thoughtfully curated collection of images by the writer Kalim Rajab, highlights the unique contribution this artist has made to the understanding of the tensions of our past as South Africans.

The 2015 Shared History Festival’s sponsors are as mentioned below:

Main Sponsors
New National Assurance
Airport Company South Africa
AMKA Group

Associate Sponsors
Incredible India
The Classic India Restaurant
Sivananda World Peace Foundation
Bank of Baroda

Radio Partner
Eastwave Radio 92.2FM

Print Partners
Shereno Printers
Ethekwini municipality
India Club


The Playhouse Company, Wits Theatre and The Lyric, Gold Reef City - Computicket 0861 915 8000 /

Supernova Suncoast Cinema – or call our call centre on 086 124 6300

Theatre on the Square - Strictly Tickets - 082 553 5901 or online at or call the theatre’s box office: 011 883 8606

For more information please visit
Twitter handle: @SharedHistorySA
Hashtag: #SharedHistory Festival 2015

For media accreditation, interviews, images and queries, please contact Di Sparks at 011 640 1500 / 073 208 8483 or Jacques Verster and Nicole Karsten at 011 996 2833 / 083 276 9009. Account:
Cathy Pisanti
Wits Theatre
011 717 1376
Shared History
Related Event:
Shared History,The Indian Experience Festival
Dates: Wednesday, 16th August 2017 - Sunday, 27th August 2017