Mortimer Harvey

Shared History - The Indian Experience in South Africa 2013

The Shared History Festival is back! Now celebrating its seventh year in South Africa, the festival will take place from 1-15 September in Johannesburg, as an integral part of the annual Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival and will also present some performances in Durban.
Shared History - The Indian Experience in South Africa 2013
Mortimer Harvey Public Relations and Communications co-manages the marketing and public relations for the event.

Proudly presented by Teamwork Arts and the High Commission of India, Shared History - The Indian Experience in South Africa 2013 is a showcase of contemporary and classical music, theatre and dance that offers a tantalising taste of the magnificence of India which provides an avenue for cultural and ideological exchange between India and South Africa.

Showcasing the finest that Indian culture has to offer, the festival will feature Music with Masters of Music, South meets South, Dr L Subramaniam, Hugh Masekela and Egberto Gismonti and Voices of Faith - Sonam Kalra and the Sufi Gospel Project; Theatre with The Company Theatre's production of Hamlet - The Clown Prince; Dance with Gayatri Sriram's presentation of Dwitayam - Duality and the Johannesburg based Versha Magan's Footprints of a Dancer.

The music line-up comprises:

Masters of Music - South meets South, an evening of music with three great musical minds - Hugh Masekela, Egberto Amin Gismonti and Dr L. Subramaniam at the Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg on Saturday 7 September at 8.00pm.

The two times Grammy awarded winner, trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer and singer, Masekela has an extensive jazz background and is revered as one of the earliest leaders in the world fusion mode while the Brazilian composer, guitarist and pianist Gismonti's work, reflects the musical diversity of Brazil and captures the true essence of the Brazilian soul in a way that is primitive, yet sophisticated, elaborated by years of classical training and literacy in a wealth of musical languages. Trained in the Carnatic and Western music tradition; renowned for his virtuoso playing techniques and compositions in orchestral fusion; credited with several solo albums and performing with Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, John Handy, George Harrison and several others, Dr. Lakshminarayana Subramaniam, the acclaimed Indian violinist, composer and conductor, as well as appearing at South meets South, Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, will also perform at the Playhouse Theatre, Durban on Thursday 5 September at 7.30pm - Dr L. Subramaniam - Live in Concert.

The Sufi Gospel Project and lead vocalist Sonam Kalra capture an original and new genre of music that combines the many voices of faith... Sufi, Gospel and Bhakti interspersed with poetry, rhythm and recitation. Their music blends together the many voices of language, religion and music to create one voice - the voice of faith. The Sufi Gospel Project, brainchild of Kalra, is labelled 'Project' because its music is ever evolving. The Sufi Gospel Project can be seen in Johannesburg at Jazz on the Lake on Sunday 1 September at 12:00pm; at the Eldos Jazz Festival on Sunday 8 September and at the Wits Theatre on Monday 9 September at 7.30pm. It will also be presented in Durban at the Suncoast Cinemas on Saturday 7 September at 7.30pm.

For theatre-lovers a performance based on Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet - The Clown Prince, can be seen at the Wits Theatre, Braamfontein, Johannesburg on 10 and 11 September at 7.30pm. Produced by The Company Theatre, this play is a search in the world of Hamlet, through the eyes of Clowns. The actors sometimes misinterpret the text, sometimes find new meanings in it, sometimes try and understand it, very often make a mess of it. The result is a comic way in which the actors have improvised the various parts of the play and yet have touched upon the tragedy of the young prince in their own context. It is in English and Gibberish and has a 1 hour 40 minutes long run time.

On offer for dance-lovers are two productions, Gayatri Sriram's production Dwitayam - Duality and local choreographer, Versha Magan's Footprints of a Dancer.

Sriram's Dwitayam - Duality deals with aspects of duality as seen in mythology and emotions and provides a close look into examining dualities in life; beauty and ugliness; love and hate; light and dark; man and woman, in a Margam format. Sriram, who has her roots in Kerala, has been living in Singapore for the last 15 years, where she has a dance school called Shruti Laya School of Dance. Here she imparts the ancient art form of Kalakshetra. An alumnus of the Singapore International Federation, she is also a grant holder from the National Arts Council of Singapore. Dwitayam will be presented at the Wits Theatre, Braamfontein, Johannesburg on 12 and 13 September at 7.30pm.

Footprints of a Dancer commissioned to be part of Shared History and supported by the National Arts Council (NAC) and Business Arts South Africa (BASA), is a Jazzy Masala Creative production inspired by Indian roots and its culture. Magan, from Johannesburg, and with a strong background in Kathak and Bollywood with knowledge in Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz styles, uniquely blends different genres of dance to create new works. This show brings you a performance with a blend of Indian classical dance, Contemporary, African and other Indian traditional styles. It is performed by featured artists, Nadanam Dance Company and the Jazzy Masala Creative dancers.

The Shared History Festival draws to a close with Footprints of a Dancer at The Lyric Theatre, Johannesburg on Saturday 14 September at 7.30pm and on Sunday 15 September at 3.00pm.

Ankur Bhardwaj, Director, International Festivals of Teamwork Arts says, "Now in its seventh year in South Africa, Shared History, a unique platform for the arts is presented in a spirit of collaboration between South African companies and those from India and is a celebration of ideas and content that transcend language, social barriers and the different art forms."

The 2013 Shared History Festival extends thanks to City of Johannesburg, City of Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival, City of Durban, ICCR and Incredible India; the main sponsors: New National, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and FOTON; the associate sponsors Sanlam, Bank of Baroda and State Bank of India and media partners Rising Sun, Eastern Mosaic, SABC 2, Hindvani radio; venue sponsors Avalon Group and CineCentre and the Festival's official printer Shereno Printers cc.

Bookings at Computicket 0861 915 8000/ For further information please visit the Shared History website - or

Also check out the Arts Alive website: / Facebook: Joburg Arts Alive International Festival / Twitter: @Arts_Alive.

For media accreditation, interviews and images and any other media queries, please contact: Di Sparks - 011 640 1500 / 073 208 8483 / az.oc.knilstra@skrapsid and Jacques Verster - 011 996 2833 / 083 276 9009 / az.oc.yevrah-remitrom@seuqcaj.

2 Sep 2013 11:42


Mortimer Harvey