national Arts Festival Banner

Friday, September 9, 2011


(Scene from “Dance Like a Man)

The High Commission of India in South Africa and Teamwork Productions is proud to present the Shared History, The Indian Experience festival 2011 - a celebration of contemporary and classical music, dance, literature, theatre and food from September 3 to 24 September in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban.

The Festival showcases the finest and most exceptional that the Indian culture has to offer, and provides an avenue for dialogue and collaborative work exchange between India and South Africa. The High Commissioner of India, Virendra Gupta, says, “The Shared History Festival is a unique celebration of plurality and the common heritage of India and South Africa. Over the years it has become a platform to showcase the best music, theatre, dance and food from India."

Now celebrating its fifth year in South Africa the Shared History 2011 festival will again delight, amaze, entertain and enthral audiences. On offer for the Durban leg of the Festival are three highlights - the Primetime Theatre Company’s Dance like a Man, contemporary dance by Rhythm Divine and the mesmerising music of Rajasthan Josh:

MUSIC: The festival offers a mesmerising performance of Rajasthan Josh, which combines the folk traditions of Rajasthan. Musicians Chugge Khan and Nathoo Lal Solanki, with Gulam Khan, Pempo Khan, Gule Khan, Salim Khan and Chanan Khan, and the enchanting Patricia, use instruments like the Morchang, Bhapang Khartaal, Double flute, Nagara and Bamboo Flute and incorporate vocal styles ranging from the mystic Sufi traditions, bhajans and popular folk songs of Rajasthan. The performance will be interspersed with captivating dances like the Chari Dance, Kalbelia (Snake charmers’ dance) and Terah Taali. They will perform at the Blue Lagoon on September 10 at 20h00. Entrance is free.

DRAMA: Mahesh Dattani’s Dance like a Man will be presented at The Playhouse Company on September 13 and 14 at 20h00. The story of Jairaj and Ratna, two Bharatnatyam dancers past their prime, is contrasted with that of their daughter Lata, who is on the brink of establishing herself as a brilliant dancer. Her imminent success creates tension and jealousy, and the audience is drawn into the dark secrets of family relationships and conflicts between generations. The play probes the surface of the characters to question their deeper motivations, but the mode is comic rather than tragic, even though the concerns are serious. Dance like a Man is produced and directed by Lillete Dubey.

DANCE: Enjoy the world-renowned Astad Deboo’s Rhythm Divine. He believes dance is a system of ideas and together with music can enrich the moral, the material and the intellectual. Deboo walks the perimeter with eight Manipuri Thang -Ta dancers to create a universe. The result is a work that records the traces and clues of things to come. Thang-Ta, The Art of the Sword and Spear, is an exciting dance form that has been adapted from the ancient martial arts form of Manipur, in North East India. Deboo belongs to the honourable company of Ruth St. Denis, Lester Horton and Astad Daforan who have combed world cultures for material they could fruitfully combine with tradition. Rhythm Divine takes place at The Playhouse Company, from September 15 to 17 at 20h00.

The Shared History Festival has become a brand in its own right and is seen as an integral part of the South African cultural calendar.

Anil K Sharan, Consul General of India, Durban says, “Five years ago, Teamwork Productions built a unique cultural bridge between South Africa and India with an exemplary partnership between public and private instructions in both countries. Today, the festival has become the most important and sought-after cultural event in South Africa. I am proud to be associated with the 5th edition of Shared History- the Indian Experience – a festival of music, dance and theatre, as it has brought the artistes of two countries closer, besides entertaining the art lovers of the multi-ethnic society of South Africa – the Rainbow Nation.”

Sanjoy Roy of Teamwork Productions and Festival director says, “Now in its 5th year Shared History will be a unique celebration of ideas and content, presented in a spirit of collaboration between South African companies and those from India. Shared History is a platform for the arts which transcend language, social barriers and art forms.”

The Festival is supported by First National Bank (FNB), Jet Airways, City of Johannesburg and Incredible India. Associate sponsors are Airport Company South Africa (ACSA), Jindal, TaTa Africa, Rosy Blue and Bank of Baroda. Media partners are Zee TV, ETV- Sunrise, SABC TV, Eastern Mosaic, India Club and The Rising Sun. The Festival’s official printer is Shereno Printers cc.

Bookings at Computicket on 0861 915 8000. For more information, visit