Notice: Undefined index: uri in /homepages/23/d179056863/htdocs/ssco/blog/blog.php on line 449

Lok Virsa – Birmingham Hippodrome 30th March 2019
Spring was slow to appear in March this year but the sun burst through the clouds on Saturday the 30th  March just in time for Lok Virsa at the Hippodrome, in the centre of Birmingham. 

I had heard wonderful tales from other colleagues about Lok Virsa, a one day arts festival or ‘mela’ of free arts activities and pop-up performances for all the family, but I was not prepared for the joyous carnival atmosphere that was to burst upon the streets of Birmingham and fill the beautifully decorated Hippodrome with the vibrant sights and sounds of the Indian Subcontinent.

The afternoon began with a lively procession through the bustling streets of Birmingham with passers by drawn in by the stunning costumes of the dancers and hypnotic rhythm of the drums.




The energy and exuberance of the procession was even enough to stop the traffic in its tracks:

Crowds gathered outside the Hippodrome as the musicians and dancers opened the afternoon festivities with a wonderful selection of dances and invited the public into the Hippodrome for an unforgettable day of music, dance and arts activities for all the family.


My role for the day was to greet visitors and let them know what was happening and what events were taking place.  This was no easy task as over 5000 people came along to enjoy all that Lok Virsa had to offer. The time flew as I chatted to people who wanted to learn more about Sonia Sabri Company. We had lots of enquiries about the different dance and music classes that we offer inspired by the stunning performances on the day.  I was also responsible for overseeing our great group of volunteers. These students willingly gave up their Saturday to help where needed, from decoration of the Hippodrome in the morning to supporting the artists throughout the day and ensuring that they had sufficient art supplies for the popular art activities. As I zoomed around the building, I also took the opportunity to snap pictures and videos of all the activities to share on social media.  The dance and music workshops were full of enthusiastic participants and I loved seeing the concentration on everyone’s faces as they focused intently on learning new steps and rhythms. The joy on their faces when they were able to follow the steps was so wonderful to see.

The free art activities were popular with young and old.  Visitors were able to try out calligraphy, rangoli and book binding as well as block printing and it was great that so many who took part were able to take home a memento of their day. The mhendi (henna tattoos) were also extremely popular and the designs were intricate and exquisite.

It was lovely to speak to families that had never visited the Hippodrome before or seen the style of music and dance and art activities that make Lok Virsa such a vibrant and exciting festival. It was also so special to see so many families having fun together, from grandparents to young children; everyone had a smile on their faces.

The atmosphere was carnival like and the magnificent spaces of the Hippodrome echoed with music and laughter. The beautiful film screening of “Dastaan with Sarvar Sabri” accompanied by live music and the eloquence of the poetry readings brought the day to a dignified and serene end.

I feel so lucky to have been a part of this colourful and fun filled day and I am looking forward to the next Lok Virsa – watch this space, as we may well be coming to a town near you very soon!


Photo credits: Anisa Fazal, Liv Buckland, and Lisa Godsal
 Comments

Akaar 2017
  
Akaar 2017 was a success, showcasing the local talent of the Midlands at the Old Rep Theatre on Saturday 1st July. 

The journey began with an open invitation to Midlands based dance and music groups, of all  backgrounds. The responses received was overwhelming, with a variety of emerging talents showing interest.

As the performance day arrived, adrenaline filled the backstage dressing rooms, as the final preparations of the showcase took place. The weeks of intense rehearsals leading up to the performance had finally come to a close, as the dancers and musicians waited for their call backstage. All of the performers shared a passion for classical, folk, Bharathanatyam, Bollywood and Kathak, and were finally ready to perform on the Old Rep Theatre stage, to an excited audience. 

The public were thrilled with the standard of the show, eager to come back and see similar performances! Akaar 2017 wouldn't have been a success, without all of the hard working performers and supportive audience members! 

We hope to see you for another successful Akaar in 2018! 














 Comments




Amazing Arts Award


Over the last five weeks Sonia Sabri Company and The Old Rep have partnered together to deliver sessions for the children of Birmingham Chinese school to be able to receive a Discover Arts Award. This culminated in a fantastic display for their parents.


When the day finally arrived nerves were in the air, the parents waited with baited breath (the Oscars has nothing on this!) The time to shine was here at last and shine they did!  Every one enjoyed seeing the exciting arts activities the children had ben involved in over the past few weeks and the characters and masks they had created.


The Arts Award Discover is an industry award certificate by Trinity College London. Through creative workshops the students find out about artists and their work and can share their arts discovery with others. 


Arts award and projects like this are a fantastic way of involving children in the arts and firing a passion! 


 Comments

Kathak camp



Forget summer camp, 2017 is the year of Kathak camp

From the 22nd to the 26th February 2017 we ran another fantastic Kathak camp for Kathak and Tabla students from around the UK. They were provided with a chance to learn in a fun and focused environment to, enhance their skills and let their artistic nature flourish.
We are very happy to say that’s exactly what they did!
Students were able to focus on rhythm and creativity in Kathak and develop their relationship and understanding of Tabla music.
Each day at we were treated to a room full of smiling faces and eager learners, it was a joy to watch them create and perform.
None of this would have been possible without the hard work of all those involved. A special thank you to the renowned artists Rani Khanam (Kathak) and Sarvar Sabri (Tabla) and the dedicated and talented students. And another huge thank you to everyone who has given their support and time to the project.
Keep your eyes peeled for our next Kathak camp!
If you have any questions or suggestions about Kathak camp please contact us at mel@ssco.org.uk


 Comments

Enlightening Weekend Recipe

  • ·      Cover a 6m by 3m floor with sheeting
  • ·      Add rice, lentils, flowers, and sand
  • ·      Garnish with Glitter
  • ·      Sift with creativity and enjoy your beautiful Rangoli Artwork

Bustling with guests of every age and artists of every genre, the Lighthouse in Poole was brought to life in an open day event like no other, organised to celebrate the re-opening of their arts centre.  With dancers, actors and even circus performers this day was set to be one to remember, how could we not join in? We took the long journey down to Poole in order to add our own flavour to this event with a participatory Rangoli workshop and a special performance of  ‘Salaam’. 

Our Projects Manager (and in house Artist) Mel Lewis hosted the participatory workshop, helping members of the public to create beautiful patterns and decorations on the floor, inspired by the traditional Indian art of Rangoli. The bright colours and swirling shapes soon caught the eyes of the public and before we knew it we were bustling with people getting stuck in and releasing their inner creativity.  

From the abundance of lovely comments we know that this event was greatly enjoyed, and hope that our presence truly helped the day to sparkle. We hope everyone working at the lighthouse had a fantastic time too, and will continue to host a kaleidoscope of events in their wonderfully re-furbished arts venue!




Written by Olivia Buckland

 Comments

Youthink - NEW young people's project at The Drum, Birmingham

Calling 13 19 year olds for

YOUTHINK

Do you have a passion for performing?
Are you a dancer, singer or actor living in Birmingham?
YOUTHINK needs you!

Sonia Sabri Company is recruiting young performers for a new dance theatre project focussing on issues surrounding community & identity.

Aspiring producers, designers, directors, script-writers, musicians and dancers are needed for the YOUTHINK project which runs from February-May 2012 to create a spectacular performance at The Drum Arts Centre.

To find out how you can get involved, call Sonia Sabri Company on 0121 622 3135 or
 Comments
/