Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!



As we wave goodbye to a successful and very busy 2015, we look forward to exciting opportunities in the new year. 

Thank you all for your continued support and we can't wait to share our brand new productions and projects. Get ready to be inspired!


Next stop...
The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham
Thursday 4th February 2016
Book your tickets today!

We hope to see you there.

Photo Credit of Sonia Sabri: Simon Richardson.


AKAAR 2015



A huge thank you to every one involved in AKAAR on Sunday 22nd November at the mac Birmingham. It was a great success and all performers and crew worked really hard to ensure a smooth running of the showcase!

Our sincere gratitude reaches out to all performers and stage crew for making this possible and participating in this very important event for talent across the West Midlands!

Photos below show Aaja Nachle Let’s Dance, Rishii Chowdhury and Akash Parekar.

Thank you to Kym Humphries for the photographs.

AKAAR Annual Performance



at mac Birmingham

 on Sunday 22nd November

at 5pm



Annual performance celebrates emerging talent and supports the growth of South Asian arts. 

We are inviting West Midlands dance and music groups to take part in a showcase event.

Akaar2015 is a special performance event that aims to celebrate emerging talent and support the interest and breadth of South Asian Arts being created across the West Midlands.

West Midlands artists are set to wow audiences with their flair to perform outstanding music and dance.  Akaarpresents some of the amazing talents Artistic Director, Sonia Sabri and Musical Director, Sarvar Sabri have nurtured through their dedicated teaching and guidance. In addition, Akaar showcases guest artists from the region and students from local groups and communities, and together the performers promise an evening of wonder and passion.

As part of its annual programme of events, the company returns to mac Birmingham with AKAAR.

To book tickets:


Sun 22 Nov | 5pm | Tickets £10 (£8)

0121 446 3232 or




'Sometimes the strongest women are the ones who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors, and fight battles that nobody knows about.' - Unknown.

Show your strength and state your opinion in our performance research survey for our new forthcoming production.

You can access our survey here:

As a thank you, you will receive a special ticket offer for our performance, 'Salaam' at The Old Rep, Birmingham, a discounted ticket at £7.




AKAAR 2015

We are inviting West Midlands based dance and music groups to take part in our showcase event, AKAAR at mac Birmingham on Sunday 22nd November 2015 at 5pm.

Akaar 2015 is a special performance event that aims to celebrate emerging talent and support the interest and breadth of South Asian Arts being created across Birmingham. Both individuals and groups are invited to present their own work in a professional setting.

For further information or to apply for an application form please contact

Deadline for applications is Monday 26th October.

Mel Lewis
Projects Mananger


Welcome Back

Welcome Back 

New Administration & Marketing Assistant for Sonia Sabri Company

We would like to welcome back Hannah MacGregor who completed an internship with us back in July.  We were so impressed with her work that we offered her a position with the company.  We are very excited about the future and look forward to working with Hannah again! I had a lovely chat with Hannah about her thoughts on joining the SSCo team and what lies ahead; here is what she had to say........... 

After completing my internship, I always felt there was more to come. I had developed a strong relationship with the SSCo team in a short amount of time and felt very comfortable with my role in the company. Therefore, it seems very fitting that I have been invited back on a permanent basis as the company’s Administration & Marketing Assistant. I look forward to getting my teeth stuck into various projects, especially their education and outreach work as this is an area of the arts which I really enjoy. I am also very keen to expand upon my knowledge and understanding of marketing practice and use my enthusiasm to deliver the company’s marketing strategy in the best way possible. In the future, I hope to be working in education and community development for the arts, using my passion as a way of giving back into society. I feel very humbled to have been approached about this opportunity and will be forever grateful to SSCo for the experience that they are giving me. I look forward to all the exciting projects and opportunities ahead.


Look out for SALAAM tour dates this Autumn

Our tour kick starts at Redbridge Drama Centre, Essex on 7th October and tiptoes it's way towards Long Whatton Community Centre, Loughborough on 10th October.

Sonia Sabri Company's photo. Sonia Sabri Company's photo.

Salaam meaning ‘peace’ is Sonia Sabri Company’s latest stunning creation. This double-bill programme cleverly weaves a dialogue between live music and Kathak dance, celebrating harmony, inner –stillness and the simple bliss of being alive.

To book tickets for either date please see below.

Redbridge Drama Centre, Essex.
7th October…/WhatsOn…

Long Whatton Community Centre, Loughborough.
10th October
Tickets: 01509 646412

Photograph credits to Pulkit Sharma


Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2015

Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2015

 Good Vibrations

Whilst the sun sets on the summer we sit and reflect about our highlights! One that stands out with a glow of success was our international collaboration entitled Good Vibrations commissioned by Shrewsbury Folk Festival.  

The performance was a foot tapping success that was an electic mix of musical genres and dance styles from around the world inlcuding Irish and World Folk, incorporating Flamenco, Kathak, Percussive Dance and Clog Dancing.  There was an energetic 3000 plus in the audience AND people watching worldwide through Live stream!  A day that illuminates in our memories of the summer.

Watch this space for further news about future collaborations!

Thanks to Chigs Lukha for the images from the live stream!


Fingers in all the pies: Starter Tips for Graduates

Starter Tips for Graduates

There is something quite delicious about being an Arts Graduate: EVERYTHING LOOKS TASTY. 

Scanning your way through job sites is like looking at a menu with all your favourite dishes... but the ingredients are kept a secret.

Tip Number 1: Make sure you’ve got the right menu.

Being an artist, you’ll come to find that TIME = MONEY. Spending time on unhelpful websites will leave you unsatisfied and creatively hungry.

Here are some websites that ARE incredibly nutritious:

If you’re looking for food for thought…

& when you find yourself pottering around the Midlands and you want your slice of cake…..

Enough of the pie jokes already…

Tip Number 2: Place vast importance on creating connections. 

Connect with your past classmates, your lecturers, with arts companies you enjoy… then expand. Open your arms wide and reach out.

But how?

There are tonnes of local arts meet-up groups, co-workspaces and my personal favourite, coffee shops. Take a look around when you’re sipping on your coffee whilst browsing through the websites mentioned above. There may be someone in the room who works in your field, look out for them. Spark conversation with them. Talking with other creative people and sharing background knowledge and experience is like planting a seed that will lead to blooming flowers, especially if you take time to nurture them.

My favourite sites for meet-up leads are:!)
Facebook: Have a good hunt around in your local area. Community groups pop up all over the place. If you’re in Birmingham, I’ve heard that TheatreCuppa is a great one! Instagram events for photographers i.e anyone with a smartphone!

For Birmingham based creatives, find fellow folk at:

Ort Café in Moseley – Check their events out, too!
Birmingham Library (the loudest public library you’ll ever find, in a good way!)
6/8 Kafé – Independent coffee shop in the City Centre that even has space you can hire, for FREE!
The Custard Factory – Yumm/Alfie Birds

Tip Number 3: Don’t let your flowers wilt (or your pie go cold)

Drop your contacts a check-in email or tweet once a month to ensure they won’t forget about you. Furthermore, you’ll remain at the forefront of their mind when projects and positions crop up within their networks. A recommendation will get your foot firmly through the flowery door (and a pie in the oven). 

Tip Number 4: Be in the know

Know people. Know practice. Know movements. Know traditions. Know trends

Know organisations. And know their calendars.

It’s as easy as typing in your sought out centres into Google and checking out what they have on this month. Often, centres and galleries hold workshop days to get a feel for who’s out there. Share some of your practice and push your personality forward.  All artists love what they do, therefore common ground is a not-so-hidden treasure. Contacts, friendships, colleagues and collaboration develop from days like this. Dive in and get sticky!

Before your fingers get too sticky, get on your phone, and Tweet. 

Tip Number 5: Be present on Social Media

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Wordpress, Tumblr. YouTube. Pinterest. LinkedIn.
Some of them, all of them. Whatever works for you.

Having an online presence will expand your network across the country, and more desirably, the world. You’ll be in everyone’s pockets and everyone will take residence in yours. Write concise bios, post about your interests, share your work and comment on your industry.  Make it something you would want to see, and hashtag, wisely.
Attracting people to your online profile will attract people to your practice.

Tip Number 6: Be limitless

Now that you are juggling all your creative contacts whilst tweeting to the hills with your updated feed of what’s on, can you tell me what jobs are out there?

Actor, Dancer, Director, Musician, Visual Artist… most often this will be your practice. As you have your fingers in many pies, you may find one of the creative jobs below maybe your delicious fruit filling?

Arts Administration
Artistic Director
Communication Officer
Community Practitioner
Funding Co-ordinator
Human Resources
Participation & Learning Officer
Programme Co-ordinator
Projects Manager
Participation & Learning Officer
Stage Manager
Theatre Technician
Volunteers Co-ordinator

Remember the skills you gained in training are transferrable to many job roles in the arts.  An Actor can publically speak and a Dancer is a generator of ideas and so on… Be limitless.

Finally, to get that icing on the cake…

Tip Number 7: Pounce on opportunities that are in line with your passions, and be flexible.

Paid & unpaid. Small voluntary projects can lead to large paid projects. If you can get money coming in straight away, take pride in that. And stretch a little extra to broaden your experience and give a little bit of your time away for free: Good Karma will work its way round.

Sonia Sabri Company

Our recent intern at Sonia Sabri Company grabbed her opportunity through taking part in the Graduate Champions Scheme with DeMontford University. Hannah MacGregor came to us directly from university, offering her fresh enthusiasm and a willingness to put her mind and hands to the very many tasks of an arts organisation.

And her flexibility was brilliant.

While education often grounds you in your individual practice (the pie), experience will open your mind to the making (…baking).  Hannah came to us with the wonderful readiness to learn; a trait that is impeccably admirable in any human being.

Working in the arts industry requires a thirst to learn, 

to develop and to grow. 

That’s the beauty of it.

Go take a bite of it and make sure it’s a big one.

To read about Hannah’s personal journey with us at Sonia Sabri Company, click here.

With the correct menus at hand and the right ingredients, it’s now time to get baking your way to the career of your dreams and above all, get your fingers stuck in all the pies!

Hannah's Feedback

Our recent intern, Hannah MacGregor, wishes to share her reflection of the time she spent with us at Sonia Sabri Company. A huge thanks to Hannah. Sending her many positive thoughts for the future! 

DMU Graduate Champions Scheme Internship

As the door to my university experience closed, another door opened.  Upon completing my BA Honours degree in Performing Arts, I applied for the opportunity to do an internship via my university’s internship scheme for graduates.  I was very excited to be offered the chance to complete a six week internship with Sonia Sabri Company and I am so glad I accepted the opportunity!

From my very first day, I was warmly welcomed and accepted by all the team. 
I completed a variety of tasks within the six weeks, ranging from marketing, administration as well as arts and crafts.  I enjoyed all aspects of working for the company, but working on LOK VIRSA Beyond Borders was an experience that I will not forget.  It was refreshing to be working on a festival which brings so much colour, light, joy and happiness to the city of Birmingham!  I would also like to wish the company a huge congratulations on the success of the festival.

The amazing experiences I have embarked on would not have been as great without the wonderful people I worked with.  Sonia lives and breathes for Kathak and it was a pleasure to see an artist put their art first.  I see so many artists these days sacrifice the beauty of the art they create for their own personal gain.  Sonia, your tenacity and headstrong attitude is something I admire about you greatly and if there is one thing I have learnt from you, it is this.  Never sacrifice the niche of your art form for anybody or anything.  It is the purity of what you do that will give meaning to your creation and more importantly, joy to the people who have the pleasure of seeing it. 

Sarvar’s carefully crafted Tabla playing is simply an optic illusion to the mind as well as music to the ear, quite literally.  Having seen him teach, it is evident that he is passionate about his music and wants to share his knowledge with as many people as possible.  I love learning about new cultures and very much enjoyed the educational trip to KESH Academy to learn about the music of India. 

Mel’s organisation in the office, or organised chaos as she likes to call it, is certainly something I will take with me.  A lot of people know how to multi-task but I do not know many people who can juggle around fifteen tasks at a time and still be as cool as a cucumber.  Mel, your knowledge of managing projects and events fits in perfectly at the office and it was a pleasure learning new skills from you every day.  Thanks for my courgette! 

Annabelle is a superb addition to SSCO, her love, care and attention for what is best for the company is really evident, no matter what she is doing.  Her spiritual nature always made everyone in the office smile, even if it had been a stressful day.

You are all wonderful people, with wonderful hearts and it has truly been a privilege! I am sad that my time working with you has come to an end and I thank you for everything dearly.  Now that this door is closed, I hope the next door to open is not too far away.

All the best,




Sonia Sabri Company Intern

(DMU Graduate Champions Scheme)


A huge thank you to Hannah MacGregor for all her hard work over the last 6 weeks! The pleasure was all ours! Hannah joined us straight from finishing her degree course at De Montfort University Leicester and worked on various projects with the team, including community/education work, marketing and arrangements for our exciting arts festival, Lok Virsa: Beyond Borders.  She will be warmly missed by everyone here at SSCo, so we would like to wish her amples of good luck with future aspriations and ventures!!

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and to change the world.  Harriet Tubman

LOK VIRSA - Thank you's!

Thank You

A heart-felt thank you from all of us at Sonia Sabri Company to everyone who made
LOK VIRSA: Beyond Borders happen 
in its first year. 

The artists and audiences, the participants and stewards... every single one of you played a huge part in the mela and we sincerely give many warm thanks to you all. 

"When you feel a peaceful joy, that's when you are near the truth." - Rumi

I am going to give this post a personal touch as I am truly feeling the positive vibrations after the joys of Lok Virsa...

Thank you to the two ladies in the audience who conversed with me time and time again, expressing their deep appreciation of the event and sharing all of their wonderful ideas for the future. 

Thank you to the 7 year old girl who was decorated with mehndi and brightly reminded me that we can be anything that we want to be - I wish her luck in the future! 

Thank you to the couple who had the widest smiles and the loudest laughs, who expressed their love of folk music and attended Lok Virsa to allow their passion to grow further, enthusiastically discussing the similarities and differences between English and Pakistani folk. The two who immersed themselves into every activity and let themselves be free with it - You were an inspiration!

Thank you to the woman who expressed the importance of Lok Virsa and of sharing culture and heritage with the next generation. The woman who personally shared her views on moving beyond borders, your view is everything we aimed to achieve. It was so very delightful to hear you speak!

Thank you to the girls who weren't afraid to laugh in the dance workshop, laughter is being alive! After all, it's all about having fun! 

And of course, a HUGE thank you to mac staff for your kindness and thank you to our AMAZING volunteers for your dedication and hard work 
 thank you to Sonia Sabri Company for exhibiting a true community. 

It was an absolute pleasure! 

With the warmest of wishes,


Sonia Sabri Company


Hum Kalaam

As the perfect finish to our one-day festival Lok Virsa: Beyond Borders, Sonia Sabri Company is offering you an evening of soul–stirring music, including Ghazal and Qawwali.

These genres are popular forms of music from the Indian sub-continent. Where Ghazal illustrates the world of romance and reality through sweet melody and lyric, Qawwali powers emotion and spirituality through bold chorus singing, clapping and drumming. Qawwali music notably became popular to the west through the legendary musician, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Hum Kalaam features renowned artists originally from Pakistan and promises to be an  experience full of life and vitality.

 Sunday 26th July 7.30pm Theatre, mac
Ticket price: £12 (£10 concession)


Get Excited: Lok Virsa - Beyond Borders, 26th July

Sonia Sabri Company 

invites you to 

our one-day extravaganza

of arts activities for ALL.

 LOK VIRSA - Beyond Borders

SUNDAY 26th July

We are delighted to invite you to taste the flavours 
of South Asian Arts, with inspirational artists 
originally from Pakistan. 
On Sunday 26th July, LOK VIRSA will be at mac Birmingham, where you can immerse yourself into the music, listen to the poetry and become familiar with the crafts.


Dhol Drummers

Music from Multan and Mirpur
Mushaira Poetry and Open Mic Session
Dance from Balochistan & Punjab
Arabic Calligraphy
Block Printing
much more!

Hum Kalaam closes the festival: an opulent performance of Qawwali & Ghazal music. 
Hum Kalaam is a ticketed event, starting at 7:30pm in the Theatre, mac Birmingham.
Get your tickets at or on 0121 446 3232.

We can't wait to see you there! 


Introducing Olivia Buckland




 New Administration & Marketing Assistant for Sonia Sabri Company

A very warm welcome to Annabelle, who has recently taken on this new role within the company.  I had a lovely chat with Annabelle about her past ventures and her thoughts on joining the SSCo team and this is what she had to say..................

"I trained in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education where I found great gratification in the power of performance practice research. I thus believe that the arts has strong abilities to self-revelate it's audience. I have been working internationally as an arts practitioner, director and all-round volumiser of anything creative and transforming. It's very exciting and empowering to now be adding volume to such real art in the heart of Birmingham. You know you’re in the right place when you are completely and utterly mesmerised by the sounds and the movements of the work that you are representing. Sonia truly lives for kathak and to help share her work and those very many stories is a heart-felt pleasure. Sonia Sabri Company is full of energy, positivity and good nature, from both the people in the company and the practice itself. I’m very happy to be a part of it."

SSCo are thrilled to have Annabelle as part of their team and we look foward to many exciting projects in the future where we can create, imagine and energise the world around us!