Don’t miss the annual festival, Shared History, The Indian Experience in South Africa

Ranjith Kally.

Ranjith Kally.

Teamwork Arts, in collaboration with the High Commission of India in South Africa, is hosting 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 SA, 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 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 ingrained 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.

Simmi Areff.

Simmi Areff.

To bring in a lighter mood there is Papa CJ, an international comedian and Simmi Areff, a local comedian. Dance is represented by one of the foremost dance companies of India, the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble.

Also on offer is a wellness workshop, featuring 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.

The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble.

The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble will perform at the Wits Theatre in Braamfontein on September 10 and 11 before heading to The Playhouse in Durban at 7 pm on September 13 and 14.

This highly sought-after ensemble has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and from New York to Hawaii in the United States 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.

C Sharp C Blunt is a one-woman show starring actress MD Pallavi.

C Sharp C Blunt is a one-woman show starring actress MD Pallavi.

At the Playhouse in Durban at 7 pm 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 in Sandton on September 14.

Papa CJ.

Papa CJ.

Shared History’s comedy offering, featuring Papa CJ and Simmi Areff, will have performances at the Suncoast Supernova Cinema in Durban at 7 pm on September 12, the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City on September 13 and at the GIBS Business School, 26 Melville Road, Illovo, Johannesburg on September 15.

On September 12, Sudarsan Pattnaik, a world renowned Indian sand artist from Orissa will be at the beach in Durban from 10.30 am, 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.

Kutle Khan is a multi-talented world musician.

Kutle Khan is a multi-talented world musician.

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 3 pm.

The food festival will run from September 7 to 14 at the Classic India Restaurant, Fourways, Johannesburg. In India, street food is savoured by locals and overseas friends and visitors with equal gusto. Specialised chefs from India will provide 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 Memory against Forgetting, a solo collection that chronicles the work of photojournalist, Ranjith Kally at GIBS Business School, Melrose 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.

How to book for the Shared History Festival:
All shows at The Playhouse Company, Wits Theatre and The Lyric, Gold Reef City can be booked at Computicket at 0861 915 8000 or or at Shoprite and Checkers stores.

Theatre on the Square bookings are through Strictly Tickets at 082 553 5901 or online at or call the theatre’s box office at011 883 8606.

To book for shows at Supernova Suncoast Cinema, Durban log on to or phone the call centre at 0861 246300.

For more information on the festival visit You can also follow the festival on Twitter @SharedHistorySA [ use the hashtag: #SharedHistory Festival 2015] or like the Facebook page: SharedHistorySA

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