The South African Indian Dance Alliance (SAIDA) is an organisation of dance practitioners and dance schools collaborating to elevate the quality and status of Indian Classical, Folk, and other genres in South Africa. In seeking to create an awareness and appreciation for the Indian Classical and Contemporary Arts, one of its goals is to record the remarkable journey of Indian dance in South Africa for future generations.
16 November 2020 marks 160 years since the arrival of Indian indentured labourers in South Africa.
To commemorate this event, SAIDA, in partnership with the 1860 Heritage Centre and Narthaki.com (our digital partner) will trace and document the journey of Indian dance from indenture to stage through a virtual conference. This represents the beginning of an ongoing documentation process.
The first event celebrating this milestone is an official launch scheduled for 16 November 2020 which takes the form of a virtual presentation. It traces the development of Indian dance through a pre-recorded collage of performances illustrating the watershed moments of evolution of various dance genres over the period of 160 years.
The second part, a virtual Global Dance Conference, From Indenture To Stage … voices across waters, will follow on the weekend of 21st to 22nd November.
Dance teachers, performers, historians, and dance enthusiasts from the Indian diaspora are participants. Representatives from Surinam, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, Réunion and Fiji who have a shared history of indenture, will compare their journeys.
Prof Jay Pather, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town, Director of the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, will deliver the keynote address.
The first part commemorating this milestone is an official launch scheduled for 16 November 2020 in the form of a virtual presentation. It traces the development of Indian dance through a pre-recorded collage of performances showcasing the various dance genres over the period of 160 years. The launch video will be premiered on the 16th November at 18h00 on Facebook (facebook.com/sainddancealliance)
Global Dance Conference
The second part, a virtual Global Dance Conference, From Indenture To Stage … voices across water, will follow on the weekend of 21st to 22nd November. Dance teachers, performers, historians, and dance enthusiasts from the Indian diaspora are participants.
Representatives from Surinam, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, Réunion and Fiji who have a shared history of indenture, will compare their journeys.
The line-up includes a distinguished panel of participants and moderators including:
Keynote speaker, Prof. Jay Pather (University of Cape Town), Prof Smitha Radhakrishnan (Professor of Sociology, Luella LaMer Slaner Professor of Women's Studies, Wellesley College, Massachusetts USA), Dr. Nalini Moodley-Diar (Executive Dean and Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa), Dr Satnarine Balkaransing (University of the West Indies), Ms Pooja Pundit and Ms Reshma Seetahal (Kathak Kala Sangam, Trinidad and Tobago), Ms Reshma Chhiba (Creative Director, Sarvavidya Natyaalaya, Gauteng), Mr Musa Hlatshwayo (Mhayise Productions, Durban), Ms Manimegelai Maunikam (Mauritius), Mr K Sarveshan (Bharatha natyam dance artist-Cape Town), Mr Niveshan Munsamy (Kuchipudi dance artist - Pietermaritzburg), Mrs Anusia Pillay-Govender (Anavarata Dance Institute- Gauteng), Jatinder Verma, MBE (Artistic director, Tara Arts, London), Ms Chitra Sundaram (Associate Lecturer in the Department of Drama and Performance at Goldsmiths College, University of London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA) (London) and Dr. Anita Ratnam (founder-director of Arangham Trust, Arang
Session 1 (21 Nov, 14h00 - 15h30): South African dancers present their dance journeys, their histories, the status of dance and the challenges experienced in present day South Africa.
Session 2 (21 Nov, 15h40 - 16h40): SAIDA will host speakers from the Indian diaspora who will explore their shared histories in dance.
Session 3 (22 Nov, 14h00 - 15h30): The global conversation will continue, addressing the question "Where To From Here?” and questions on the future of Indian Dance in South Africa by young South Africans.
Session 4 (22 Nov, 15h35 - 16h15): “British Provocation” is a moderated conversation between Jatinder Verma MBE and Chitra Sundaram (London) which tests diasporic concerns of migrant communities against those which are of concern in South Africa. The session is moderated by Dr Gerard M. Samuel, Associate Professor and Head of Dance, University of Cape Town.
Dr Anita Ratnam, founder-director of Arangham Trust, Arangham Dance Theatre and Narthaki.com, an Indian dance portal - Chennai, will conclude the session and conference with an overview.
Conference Convenor/ Chairperson of SAIDA - Smeetha Maharaj
Academic Convenor – Prof Suria Govender
Official Launch Convenor – Vasugi Devar Singh