Greenbelt Festival 2017


We are extremely excited that an exert of 'Salaam' will be included in the line up of Greenbelt Festival at Boughton House, Kettering, on the 27th August, 7:00pm! 


Since 1974, Greenbelt have had a mission to create spaces, where art, faith and justice collide, hosting a multi-arts festival programme of music, visual and performing arts, spirituality, comedy, talks and discussion. Their commitment to the arts, has made them a great platform for us to showcase 'Salaam.'





Prior to the performance, come along and discover the basics of Kathak, with an exclusive dance workshop, at 12:30pm, which will you give an insight into the joyous and rhythmic indian dance. Footwork, spins,rhytmic choreographies and the art of storytelling through mime, gesture and facial expressions will all be explored!

This will be followed by the highly anticipated presentation of Salaam in the evening! The piece is set to be stunning, cleverly weaving dialogue between exhilarating live music and meaningful storytelling, through Kathak. Acclaimed, Sonia Sabri will command the stage, with her precise, graceful technique and command of rhythm and repertoire, whilst Sarvar Sabri as a gifted tabla player, will provide a deep and unique insight into Indian classical music. 





To find out more- 
http://www.greenbelt.org.uk/artists/salaam-presented-by-sonia-sabri-company/ 






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LOK VIRSA: Beyond Borders
Saturday 26th August


As a company that celebrates music, poetry, crafts and dance, we are delighted to announce that our one day mela event, LOK VIRSA: Beyond Borders, will be returning to Birmingham at the Library of Birmingham this summer!
On Saturday the 26th of August, from 11-4:30pm, we will be celebrating South Asian arts and culture, going 'beyond borders' and reminding audiences of unity despite modern borders and political differences. 


This event is very close to our hearts, as inspirational artists from the Indian sub-continent ,will be sharing their love and passion for art forms such as Dance, Arabic Calligraphy, Mehndi, Rangoli and Block Printing! Its set to be an engaging,inclusive day for all of the family, with a variety of engaging workshops, and exciting Indian traditions activities.

You could find yourself unleashing your artistic and creative side, with a Ajrakh inspired block printing activity, that will not only excite but educate you in the fascinating history and culture of South Asia. 

Or simply being memorized by watching the fast paced and energetic traditional folk dances from the subcontinent!


With not long to go, we encourage you to come and re-discover the roots and ideas behind South Asian music, dance and visual arts, at LOK ViRSA!
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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! 














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Live in London!  

On 26thof June our fabulous group of musicians journeyed down to the British Library in London to perform DASTAAN.

Nerves were in the air but we are proud to announce that the performance went fantastically!
The audience loved the mixture of live music and film and we got some wonderful feedback:

 ‘Brilliant blend of instruments; voices and film’
‘I loved watching the performers riff off each other and show their talents’
‘The musicians and instruments were wonderful and poetic’

The next performance of DASTAAN will be at Wirksworth Festival in September!

Keep checking our news feed for more details on how you could see this truly inspiring performance!
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Akaar 2017


Akaar 2017!


Join us to celebrate the emerging talent of the midlands on the 1st July 2017,  with Akaar 2017, where artists, including students from local groups and communities will unite to perform music and dance on the main stage at the old rep theatre. The performances have been supported by the teaching and guidance of artistic  and musical directors Sonia Sabri and Sarvar Sabri, with a strive to create performances that are relevant to modern audiences, with inspirations being drawn from eastern and western cultures.

The dancers and musicians due to perform at the event, will be from aged 11 years plus with various backgrounds,however they will all ultimately share a passion for dance and music being within Classical,Folk,Bharathanatyam, Bollywood, Kathak, as well as new fusion and experimental south asian arts. 

One of the dancers set to perform for the event, will be Shreya Suresh, who’s dance piece is titled 'Taandavam', which can be defined as a divine dance of creation and destruction, following the Bharatanatyam dance style. With the choreography devised by Divya Kasturi , the piece can be described as energetic, supported with the evergreen popular verse of Sri Dayananda Saraswathi -‘Bho Shambo’. She has been involved in a variety of solo performances,  with her most recent being the first round of the BBC young dancers' event in 2016. As a performer that has grown to love art, her attendance at Akaar is something she is excited about, alongside the other artists that are set to perform their own work. 

The event is set be mesmerising as dancers and musicians across the midlands come together to share their passion and love for a variety of music and dance styles. In order to secure your seat for the event, follow the link to book. It will most definetly be a event to not me missed!



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Something Nu - 
Since May we have been leading a new and exciting creative project called Nu Story.  

Nu Story helps women of different backgrounds find a way to share their experiences of womanhood through Movement.

 The ladies will pass on what they’ve learnt in Kathak, mime and storytelling to women from other groups and priority areas, forming a network of sharing and letting every woman know she is not alone!  




Funded by 
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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! 


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A stunning solo

Those who ventured into VIRAGO saw some serious girl power!

Once again Sonia has mesmerised audiences, this time with her new innovative dance solo. VIRAGO exploded into theatres at it's preview performances at Mac Birmingham and The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton. Did somebody say standing ovation?

'Mind blowing and liberating', are just some of the words that have been used to describe the show.

VIRAGO showed beauty and fragility. It illuminates elements of what the media perceives as 'the woman' and the pressure that creates, yet still presenting empowerment and hope.  

Audience members felt a deep connection to the piece, one woman describing it as  'Deep - it reminded me of something personal in my past. It was like she knew my story.'

It’s safe to say that that VIRAGO was a huge success! A massive thank you to all those involved and our wonderful audiences! 


Keep your eyes peeled for further performances from the company!


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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


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VIRAGO IS NEAR

With just one week to go until Virago hits the stage at mac birmingham, we are completely run off our feet! Blood, sweat and tears have gone into making this tremendous performance and watching it all come together this Saturday will be the icing on the cake for all of us.

Stepping into the theatre today I was unaware of just what the day would entail, lights, projections, smoke… giant 60ft images of pixelated dancers? It’s all a bit of a mystery to me, but wow it sure is impressive. Mixing digital elements with dance is a rarity and from what I have seen so far there will not be another performance like ‘Virago’.

Women from all over Birmingham have helped us to make this performance as real and heart wrenching as possible and we can’t thank them enough for bravely sharing their experiences and views on womanhood.

Working on this performance has been a dream come true, and I can’t wait to see everyone’s hard work pull together.

I’m a part of this revolution, are you?



















VIRAGO
Saturday 11th March @ 8pm
mac birmingham

Watch our ‘making of Virago’ film here:  http://bit.ly/2lg1Ifh

Book your tickets here: http://bit.ly/2mvnVrx


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VIRAGO - DEBUT PERFORMANCE


It’s getting close to the debut date of our brand new performance piece ‘Virago’ and we can’t wait to see you there!

I’ve had the privilege of watching this inspirational piece go from a simple idea to an astounding masterpiece of dance and sound, and wow it has been a journey.

We have used the thoughts and experiences of real women to inspire this piece and to ensure a relatable connection with its audience. Combined with the efforts of Ludic Rooms and Sonia Sabri’s artistic visionary and talents, this show is set to be like no other.

‘Virago’ means ‘female warrior’ in Latin and Vira is ‘the brave one’ in Hindi. This new performance explores the light vs. dark and the real vs. fairy-tale versions of female existence, while discussing the choices and decisions we must make as we go through life regardless of gender: there is no clear path to do the right thing, only options, and not all of them are easy.

Sonia’s signature ‘Urban Kathaklanguage merges on stage with digital artistry, alongside a sound-score combining spoken word and music, with rich and diverse influences: a cacophony of voices from Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, representing and speaking to women worldwide, but appealing to all of our humanity, regardless of gender and culture.

Prepare yourself for an evening of first class entertainment that will touch your heart and leave you feeling moved.

Come and be part of the revolution.

VIRAGO
mac birmingham
11th March @ 8pm


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Interview: Crossing Boundaries with Kathak

An excellent interview with Sonia Sabri features in the January issue of Arts Industry magazine. 

In the article Sonia light-heartedly reflects on her own training, the formation of Sonia Sabri Company and some of the memorable moments since the company’s conception in 2002.

The history of Kathak is also touched upon as Sonia describes the evolution from a storytelling device to a classical art form. The interview also offers an insight into Sonia’s own history and relationship with dance before the formation of Sonia Sabri Company.

Sonia goes on to talk about the company’s commitment to presenting South Asian inspired music and dance in an energetic and exciting way, discussing how the company’s work can appeal to people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

The article is a wonderful reflection of the company’s work and Sonia and Sarvar’s commitment to producing high quality, innovative art and learning opportunities.

Arts Industry magazine is the only magazine available both in print and online for Britain’s cultural community. The magazine provides articles and interviews as wells as the latest news and job vacancies.

For more information about Arts Industry magazine and to read the article in full visit their website: http://www.artsindustry.co.uk



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A Year Well Spent

A Year Well Spent
‘From small beginnings come great things…’

It’s been nearly a year since I started my job in marketing with Sonia Sabri Company, and what a year it has been! With both Christmas and the New Year now approaching I couldn’t think of a better time to look back at some 2016 highlights and accomplishments this wonderful company has achieved (I’d love to mention them all, but that could take me another year!).


Salaam
Salaam was my initial introduction to the company’s work, and was the first show I got the opportunity to attend. We have performed this momentous show 14 times this year, and each time brought delight, wonder and peace to a different location! ‘Salaam’ shows the true beauty, complexity and talent involved with Kathak dance and South Asian music, while promoting the incredibly important message of peace in times of conflict.

Lok Virsa
After the success of last years Lok Virsa we decided to continue it through 2016, making it bigger and better as we go. Lok Virsa is an exhilarating festival of art, music, dance and performance, and we have received some truly wonderful feedback from its attendees. We love offering this as a free event for all to join in with and experience the arts first hand, I too found this to be a fun and interactive way to learn all about South Asian art. (You’ll often find me rushed off my feet at the Rangoli stand.)

They Shall Not Pass
This performance was a personal favourite of mine, in which we collaborated with an eclectic mix of performers including Kathak, Clog, Flamenco and African dancers and musicians. This performance is an incredible example of how different cultures can not only rub alongside eachother, but can work together to create new and beautiful ideas and art; a message that I think we should all promote. 

A huge thank you to everyone at Sonia Sabri Company, and to everyone who supports, collaborates and connects with us. You have all helped to make this year incredible.   

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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

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The Whole Package
'neatly wrapped with everything included'


Who would have thought on a rainy Monday morning that I would find myself standing in front of the Tardis?

Well… maybe me a little, I was at the BBC after all.

Sat amongst a crowd of smiling and eager faces, in a small room cleverly named ‘Ambridge’, I learned more about radio in a day than I normally would in a year!

I was invited by the lovely Berni from BBC WM to attend an ‘open doors’ event aimed at charities and small organisations like ourselves. The day was packed full of workshops, tours and knowledge and successfully covering everything from pitching a news story, to radio terminology and how to use your iPhone charger as a tripod (yes, really)! And of course, who wouldn’t love an inside look at the BBC, including props and costumes.

I had a fantastic time meeting various BBC Employees and chatting with friendly faces from like-minded companies, and I would highly recommend getting in on a BBC Open Doors event if you are interested in radio and how to better market your company. 

It’s a 10 from me!




Written by Olivia Buckland
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