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Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Heralding the spring, the Shared History - The Indian Experience Festival is back to entertain and captivate audiences with a variety of performances.

The High Commission of India in South Africa, together with Teamwork Productions, is proud to present this celebration of contemporary and classical music, dance, theatre, and food in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.

The High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Mr Virendra Gupta, says, “The Shared History Festival is now in its sixth successful year in South Africa. It is an extremely important event in our cultural calendar and presents highly renowned and well known cultural personalities to audiences in South Africa. The festival is unique as it showcases various elements of Indian art forms both classical and folk, in a contemporary format and appeals to a wide cross-section of audience'.

Two of the productions featured at Shared History – the Indian Experience in South Africa 2012 is the theatre production Nothing like Lear as well as the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble.

For theatre-lovers Nothing like Lear, a performance based on Shakespeare’s King Lear and presented by The Company Theatre and Cinematograph Production, can be seen in Durban at The Playhouse on September 19 and 20 at 20h00. This contemporised tale of a father and a daughter is directed by Rajat Kapoor with Vinay Pathak and Atul Kumar playing the roles of father and daughter respectively.

To see King Lear through the eyes of a clown is to see him as …a man, a father, an outcast, a child…to view a fool… through the eyes of a fool. A single actor on stage, an old clown….an entire life lived within the tempest of the theatre. The search for Lear brings us to the eye of the storm – the self. Grains of fiction surge into personal narratives which cover vast distances; as the clown looks into Lear, who looks into the clown, there are distortions where the one begins and the other ends. Memories unravelled, stories half-sung, a whirlwind where Shakespeare’s pages are strewn about only to resurface as a murky collage, the flight of dreams plunged into darkness, a daughter lost to the mountains of the past….and so many lifetimes re-lived to arrive at one single moment of preciousness.

Dance-lovers can enjoy the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, regarded as one of the ten foremost dance companies of the world, with its production of Sriyah, excerpts from a decade of dance making - which will be presented in Durban at The Playhouse on September 21 and 22 at 20h00.

For the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble dancers, dance is a way of life. The founder Protima Gauri, an exquisite Odissi dancer, converted farmland into an ideal setting for the study, practice and teaching of classical dance. Although steeped in, and dedicated to this ancient practice, Nrityagram's dancers are also involved in carrying Indian dance into the twenty-first century. Odissi is characterised by sensuousness and lyricism. With movements that reflect the motifs of temple sculpture, it captures drum rhythms, melodies, as well as the poetic meaning of songs taken from the vast canon of Oriya music. There is evidence that Odissi was performed as a sacred ritual dedicated to the gods and is one of the oldest dance traditions in the world.

The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble comprises Artistic Director/Choreographer and dancer Surupa Sen and Pavithra Reddy and Bijayini Satpathy and four musicians: Sanjib Kunda on Violin, Parshuram Das on Flute, percussionist Sibasankar Satapathy - Mardala and singer Jateen Sahu.

The 2012 Shared History Festival’s sponsors are Joburg City, Arts Alive, City of Durban, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and India Tourism. Its main sponsors are New National Assurance Company LTD, ACSA; associate sponsors: Jindal, Sanlam, State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda. Media Partners: Rising Sun, Lotus FM and SABC2 - Eastern Mosaic. The official Print partner is Shereno Printers cc. India Club is a partner with Shared History.

Bookings at Computicket 0861 915 8000 /

For further information on the festival please visit the Shared History website – Also check out the Arts Alive website: / Facebook: Joburg Arts Alive International Festival / Twitter: @Arts_Alive