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Tuesday, September 8, 2015


(Sand sculpture by Sudarsan Pattnaik)

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

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

Durban events will feature one of the foremost dance companies of India, The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, which performs at The Playhouse 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 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.

Shared History’s comedy offering, featuring the established international comedian Papa CJ and local comedian Simmi Areff, who will have performances at the Suncoast Supernova Cinema, Durban, on September 12.

On September 12, Sudarsan Pattnaik, a world renowned Indian Sand Artist from Orissa will be down at the beach in Durban starting at 10h30 sand sculpting throughout the day. 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 accolades worldwide. He has represented India at 50 international Sand Sculpture championships, of which he won 27. Most recently he was awarded the Padma Shri.

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