Shared History: An Indian Experience in South Africa 2015
The pre-festival rush, the during festival zest; everybody on their toes running around getting their act together, aiming towards one single point — The Indian Experience brought to life in South Africa.
Shared History 2015, the 9th edition of the festival, was held in the beautiful cities of Johannesburg and Durban spread over a period of 16 days. From music to dance and comedy to theatre, we had it all. And it was all possible because of the team efforts and love for the performing arts of every person involved – be it backstage, downstage or in the audience who made it memorable.
The festival kicked off with a very well put together Press Conference at the Consulate of India in Johannesburg that had a turnout of over 30 journalists and media personnel along with sponsors, and the festival associates. This media reception was followed by an opening reception evening hosted by the High Commissioner of India to South Africa, Mrs. Ruchi Ghanayshyam at her residence in Pretoria. The wonderfully curated evening was full of Indian Festivities with popular Ghazals and an Indian cuisine to die for.
The main Festival began with its first segment; the food festival hosted and curated by The Classic India Restaurant on the 7th of September went on till the 14th of September 2015. Mr. Manish Gupta, our sponsor and owner of The Classic India Restaurant curated a special menu with his team of Chefs from all over the streets of India. From vada pavs of Mumbai to kathi rolls of Kolkata continuing to the various chaats and gol gappas from the streets of Delhi, the food festival had everything you could relish from India in South Africa. Literally, the tastes from all corners brought together under one roof in a land away from home!
In the realm of dance we had the beautiful 3 dancers of the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble from Bangalore that performed their way to glory and left the audiences speechless and overwhelmed in both Johannesburg and Durban. All four shows witnessed packed houses and people kept craving for more. From here we moved on to music which was from the culturally rich land of Rajasthan, the Kutle Khan Project. The tunes of the deserts mixed with world folk music had people on their feet and an encore at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City in Johannesburg. Following this was the wonderful comedy show “Naked” by PAPA CJ, which was an enriching experience for every member of the audience. Every aspect of the show so wonderfully put together that it had a dramatic turn at each step apart from the laughter that engulfed everybody. Both in Johannesburg and Durban, audiences were not just entertained but moved and touched by this wonderful performance. Again, packed houses witnessed for the same!
Our last bit for the festival was the Theatre show by Flinn Theatre — C Sharp C Blunt, an Indo-German collaboration about a woman’s struggles in society depicted amazingly and metaphorically by the use of a newly developed app, Shilpa! Shilpa or M.D. Pallavi, as she is known, surely won many hearts at the shows and yes, I think android just crashed due to the increasing downloads of the App! :p
The Festival is not yet over my friends, we are still left with the photo exhibition about which details will be out soon but it does not stop at that! We at Teamwork Arts and the Shared History Team in both India and South Africa, are waiting to see you next year in much bigger numbers.
It’s not yet goodbye, keep in touch, keep following us on Facebook, Twitter and just come visit us here now and then for updates. We love to make new friends and have more and more people with us to make the experience what it is! To the wonderful people of South Africa, Shaap Shaap, till we meet again! ïŠ See you next year!