ON TOUR WITH "SAME SAME...BUT DIFFERENT"- KATIE ALBON


I joined the company in June 2021 to learn ‘Same Same…But Different’ ready for the Summer and Autumn tours. '

By the end of November, I will have performed the show a grand total of 42 times! 

It has been a busy time but there have been some unforgettable moments.

Touring for me is not just about the performing (which of course is a joy in itself); it’s about the communities we meet, the conversations with the families after the show, the meals shared with the company, the laughter in the van, the time exploring new places…I could go on and on!


 Performing a show aimed at children and their families has been a lot of fun. I love the instant reaction from the children; they smile, laugh and shout out what they think and feel. I feel very lucky to be able to bring joy to their days and to open up conversations for them about difference and why we should celebrate difference.

We have also been busy delivering workshops in primary schools and in some of the performance venues. 

I have loved leading the creative part of these sessions, taking the children through a task that allows them freedom to create their own movements and then share and perform to their classmates. 


A highlight for me was our day in Broadmayne organised by Arts Reach. We had two workshops that day, one with ‘Premix’, an inclusive performance company for 7 - 11 year-olds. We had a brilliant time exploring some of the props (like bells and a long red ribbon) and the different dance styles from the show through improvisation and play. As a key theme of the show is celebrating difference, I think it’s really important that all children are included in the work that we do.

 

Something I’ll particularly take away from this experience are the memories of the lovely people we’ve met and the comments from the children after the show. One girl (age 9) said:

 

“I really enjoyed the show because all the other shows are different to this one, and this one was funny, I don’t normally enjoy shows and this one was the best one I’ve been to, it’s really joyful. I get really into it, it’s really good”. 


Rural touring is unpredictable, you don’t know what the spaces will be like until you arrive and you might be performing to 2 people or 200 people. 


Every day is different but every day is an adventure!





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 INTRODUCING SAME SAME ... BUT DIFFERENT'S NEWEST DANCER - GEORGE PEREZ


I am the new edition to the team of dancers for the production “Same Same… But Different” created by Sonia Sabri Company. 

As I have recently graduated in May 2021, I was excited to get out into the professional world of dance and put my training into practice. 

Joining this production will be my first experience of national touring and I can’t wait to travel around the UK educating and inspiring the children of today through the love of art. 

I wanted to be a part of this production as I felt the message of “its ok to be different” and even “celebrating our differences” was an area that was not addressed in my early education and that left me with many questions about my myself and my differences. 

The production is cleverly designed to highlight the differences between the three dancers. This includes the dance styles we present, the props that are used, our physical features and even our choice of clothes. 

After observing previous versions of “Same Same… But Different” I felt the demands of my role were going to be challenging as I was required to be an
Urban, Beatboxing Guitarist. However, after attending the first day of rehearsals I quickly realised that Sonia didn’t expect me to produce the same performance as the previous dancer. We spent a large amount of time re-creating the role and facilitating the use of my individual skills around the demands of the production.


Working with Sonia I learnt a lot about communication with the audience and how our intentions will be read and perceived. 

As the work is targeted for children 5+ and is educationally motivated it’s important that our messages are received and understood by our audiences. 


In response to these aims we allocated a lot of our time in rehearsal to the intention of our characters and how we could clearly communicate our thought process with our viewers. 


Traveling up to Birmingham, learning new styles of dance, meeting new artists and getting the chance to finally perform to a live audience again has been exhilarating. 

It’s such a wonderful feeling to take this amazing work and inspire and educate children on these messages through various art forms. 

The work containing live music, several props and three different styles of dance makes it impossible to lose interest. I even questioned if we could hold the attention of large groups of children for an hour. 

Due to the quickly progressing and constant fluctuating nature of the piece there is never a dull moment. Often the children are left wanting more and the reaction they produce and the looks on their faces is enough to fill your heart a thousand times over.



Feedback from a recent show "My son said that he smiled so much his teeth hurt!"


Full tour details are listed on our website under calendar:


Calendar - Sonia Sabri Company (ssco.org.uk)

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We’re over the moon to announce our Artistic Director & renowned dancer-choreographer Sonia Sabri is part of the creative team working on Wondrous Stories conceived by Motionhouse for the Commonwealth Games 2022, an inspiring large-scale production which will be the opening show of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.




Audiences will be able to attend seven performances of this spectacular, free event, which will bring together the people of Birmingham in a celebration of the wondrous stories of ordinary people across the region. 


Professional dancers will be accompanied by local choirs and a community cast of over 300 from the Birmingham 2022 Festival Critical Mass participation project. Sonia will be working with an exciting team of artistic collaborators including Motionhouse, Jamaal Burkmar, poets Raza Hussein & Sebbie Mudhai, composer Sophy Smith & digital artists Logela Multemedia, amongst others.


Raidene Carter, executive producer of Birmingham 2022 Festival said: “It’s a huge privilege to finally announce our plans for the Birmingham 2022 Festival. We are working with artists, creatives and communities from across the West Midlands to celebrate our creativity and shine a light on the region for 6 months, leading up to and following the Games."

We’ll be sharing lots of updates as we help create this extraordinary event, so watch this space!

Photo image by Greta Zabulyte
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