Tuesday, 20 November 2012

SSCo Celebrating Ten Years


As part of our ten year celebrations, SSCo  opened Kaavish at Liverpool Capstone Theatre last Saturday, and it went down a storm! Now we now look forward to performing in our home town and second home the Birmingham mac this Saturday 24th Nov, where in fact Sonia Sabri started her journey as a dancer at the age of eight. Kaavish highlights some of SSCo's best known performances from the past ten years, including an extract choreographed by Shobana Jeyasingh. The second half is an explosive collaboration of kathak and bharatanatyam with  Sonia and Ash Mukherjee, an energetic duet that will leave you breathless!   As always, SSCo is pleased to present dynamic live music by  Ustad Sarvar Sabri through out the show.

We are also, proud  to platform local talent on Friday 23rd, as SSCo students of Classical Indian music and Kathak will take over the mac stage for the night. Another night full of surprises!

Do keep an eye out at the mac for other SSCo events, including dance film by Toby Norman- Wright, Paintings by Sarvesh Saini and random performances. 

http://www.macarts.co.uk/event/kaavish-celebrating-ten-years





Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Inspiration

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SONIA SABRI will present ‘INSPIRATION’, her brand new solo dance film at ThinkTank, Birmingham Science Museum www.thinktank.ac

Wednesday September 26th at 7pm
Tickets:  £6

ThinkTank, a radical new concept for science museums, is a world class family attraction at Millennium Point in Birmingham and features four floors of interactive exhibits and live art and performance for all ages.   Thinktank’s Planetarium uses state-of-the-art digital technology to present breathtaking images on a 360 degree interior domed surface.  The audience, sitting in reclining seats, is immediately involved in a totally immersive experience – imagine sitting in the centre of an eggshell – and will be able to view the film as it plays all around them.

Grabbing technology by the scruff of the neck, the visionary Sonia Sabri is presenting the first ever kathak dance solo film to be produced for a planetarium featuring music by the digital and audio designer Chris Vandyke.  As part of DomeFest 2012, ‘Inspiration’ will be showcased along with work by other performance companies, some of whom will be selected for the final film programme at the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium at the National Space Centre in Leicester on November 16th and 17th.

‘INSPIRATION’: At the dawn of time, the Universe comes into being and star fields begin to take form. The Hindu deity and protector of life Prajapati (recognised as the constellation of stars known as Orion is the West) materialises, dividing and replicating himself into humanity and the animals of the Earth…

Artistic Director:                       Toby Norman-Wright
Choreographers:                       Toby Norman- Wright and Sonia Sabri
Dancer:                                     Sonia Sabri
Audio and Visual Production:  Chris Vandyke with Callum Goodwilliam.
Chroma production:                 Callum Goodwilliam

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

New Delhi - Sonia Sabri writes

"I've been immersed in aroma, colour, laughter, lyric, melody and movement for the past three weeks in the city that pulsates with centuries old artistry and unyielding spirituality, and yet, courts with the "mind blasting" advancements of science and technology: New Delhi.

It's that time when I am in need of refueling. For the three years I've been making and making work for my own company as well for others who have never even participated in performing arts, let alone Kathak. On top of that, I've been performing all around the globe and back. With my other hat on - Artistic Director of Sonia Sabri Company - there have been several changes and considerations with the future of the company and it's position on the UK scene as well the international. It has been a wonderful three years indeed but quite a few forget that I'm actually human, and once in a while, I need to collect my thoughts as well as my breath!

Having said this, I'm not on 'holiday'...I'm out here with Musical Director of SSCo Sarvar to replenish our creative minds for the next BIG project....and other big projects following that ...(hehehe).
We've been in and out of meetings with some movers and shakers out here and wow it is full on. Not just the number of meetings. I mean the PASSION these people have for the arts and where they want to go with it. We've been inspired hearing such motivated opinion formers and artists talk about music and dance and the strategies they are developing. But it's also interesting, and once again brings home that the arts is so much about taste. For example, the understanding of tradition, classical, contemporary, avant-garde, etc is so different to the UK.....and to understand it, one would have to be born there.

The results of our 'chai-chats' have already borne some fruit. Sarvar recorded for All India Radio which will be aired later next month; and we were both interviewed live on Evening Live for National TV following repeat broadcasts, reaching about a billion people (not bad for it having nothing to do with the Olympics!). I was also invited to compere for an inaugural concert of Sufi music 'Rooh' at the India Islamic Cultural Centre last Saturday. It went down tremendously well. ENI will be telecasting it on National TV sometime soon (that's another billion and again nothing to do with the Olympics!! Sorry - I better stop).

Sarvar and I are particularly excited by some of the talents we've come across who have not had much exposure. Remarkably, some of them are very young. It's unbelievable the abundance of high quality dancers and musicians. New Delhi is certainly the 'belly' where artists from all the corners of India gather. We've met artists who have recently migrated from rural parts of Rajasthan, Punjab, Assam, Cochin, Bihar and Nepal and all sing/play/dance their souls out. Although their artistry reflects the peaks and troughs of life, we are transported into an idyllic bubble and as if the observations of everyday challenges happens to an another species and we people simply glide by.....
Beautiful.
We're hoping we can collaborate with them at some point soon.

My studio awaits....."

Soniaxx

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

360 Encompass Digital Dance





This weekend – July 19th – 21st Sonia Sabri will be choreographing for and performing with Encompass 360 Digital Dance at the Edge Arts Centre, a vibrant arts centre located on the campus of William Brookes School in Much Wenlock, Shropshire.  The show that’s being created for this fantastic venue is an immersive dance event based on the 8 Olympic values as part of the celebrations that lead up to the 2012 London Olympics. 

The event combines dance, film, and digital arts; some of the dancing will have been filmed in advance, some will be performed live over the three dates – all of it will be projected onto Igloovision’s 21 metre dome  on a screen that surrounds the audience inside the Igloodome in full 360 degrees.  The dance piece will be fully immersive – projected around and above the heads of the audience giving the impression of moving within it. 
The Edge arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire 
Tickets £3/5 more details  www.encompass360.co.uk



Monday, 23 April 2012

Kathakbox at Solihull Arts Complex on 22nd May

Kathakbox
Tuesday 22 May 2012 at 7.30pm
Solihull Arts Complex, Library Square, Touchwood, Homer Road, Solihull, B91 3RG
Tickets: £10 (£9 concs), £7 children
Box Office: 0121 704 6962 or
book online
Presented by Sampad


With special curtain-raiser performances from Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy, Alderbrook School, Solihull, and Dance Workshop Contemporary Youth Dance

“I felt like jumping up onstage to join them…full of vibrant energy…Kathakbox is at the same time uplifting and highly enjoyable.” (Londondance.com)

Kathakbox is the latest production from one of the UK’s most dynamic dance companies. Sonia Sabri Company celebrate the diverse energy of modern Britain through a brand new dance style: Urban Kathak.

Kathakbox brings together Indian Kathak dance’s grace and vigour and the rhythms & rhymes of Hip Hop culture.

Complex classical rhythms converse with beatbox and the verbal dexterity of Kathak rap (Kavitt) layers with urban poetry.

Kathakbox does not ‘box in’ these genres to a particular time or place, but discovers the raw spirit and heartbeat of each art form which reverberate between cultures.

Reflecting the diverse, intersecting rhythms of the human experience, Kathakbox encourages us to ‘think outside the
box’.

This bold, heart-pounding production features Sonia Sabri performing alongside dancers Nathan Geering, Suzanne Grubham and Amayra Fuller, tabla maestro Sarvar Sabri, acclaimed spoken word artist & vocalist Marcina Arnold and beatboxer Shan Bansil.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sonia Sabri Company at the Alchemy Festival 2012

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

For the third year running, Sonia Sabri Company returns to the Southbank Centre’s Alchemy festival with a unique programme of performance and workshops:

Lok Virsa: Without Borders
Tuesday 17th April 2012, 6pm
The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre
Free event

Lok Virsa simply means the 'heritage of the people'. It is this beautiful simplicity that Sonia Sabri Company celebrates, bringing together the arts of music, poetry and dance rooted in the lands of the Indian subcontinent.

India and Pakistan share a rich and robust cultural heritage, which even today unites the people of each country, despite modern borders and political differences. This living heritage has spread across the globe, influencing much of our contemporary arts today: a testament that physical or any form of segregation does not affect the spirit of the arts and culture. In fact, it is the arts that enable us to rise above material matters and celebrate our existence, beyond what words can describe.

Internationally acclaimed Sonia Sabri Company invites some of the most inspirational artists originally from Pakistan to collaborate on a unique interactive presentation especially for the Alchemy festival. Lok Virsa features a rare chance to see traditional folk song, music and dance from different regions of Pakistan, with a guest speaker to give an overview of the current arts scene. Lok Virsa is hosted by the UK’s leading Kathak artist, Sonia Sabri. Find out more at the Southbank Centre's website.


Workshops (free events)

Pakistani Folk Dance Workshop
Saturday 21 April 2012, 11am and 4pm, The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre
Learn the moves of traditional folk dances from the subcontinent that influence much of the dance styles today. This workshop is fast, energetic and packed with lots of fun! Suitable for anyone with an interest in dance.

Calligraphy Workshop
Saturday 21 April, 12.00pm, Foyer Bar, Level 2, Southbank Centre
Urdu calligraphy is an art widely admired for its beauty, and the skill and creativity required of the artist. Have a go at learning the basic techniques or Urdu calligraphy and create a piece of craft that you can show off. Spaces are limited for these free workshops and will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Folk Song and Rhythms of Pakistan
Led by Sarvar Sabri and Aasia Suman
Saturday 21 April, 1pm & 4.30pm, The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre
Have an interest in singing or playing a percussion instrument? This is a fantastic opportunity to learn the essence of folk songs from Punjab and Multan and how to play the regional upbeat grooves with technical flair which makes this genre stand out from the rest. If you have good vocal chords and/or percussion instruments please do bring them along!

Musharia: Poetry Recital
Saturday 21 April, 2.30pm, The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre
This is an intimate and interactive session, where you can hear some of the UK's finest poets share their humorous, romantic and topical poetry. You can also share your compositions and take part in discussions. A mushaira is a beloved part of the culture of Pakistan and North India, and it is greatly admired by participants as a forum for free self-expression. Open to all who have an interest in Urdu and Punjabi poetry, ghazal and nazam.


Thursday, 23 February 2012

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

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Our 2011 highlights

Kathakbox
After two years of research and development, SSCo created its most successful collaborative work to date including artists from Contemporary, African and Hip Hop genres and toured nationally and internationally. SSCo was the only small –mid scale company to tour the most number of UK performances in 2011 and the success of Kathakbox extended to being shortlisted for the prestigious London Dance Awards. It’s a must see - so catch the last few shows in the Spring if you can. You can find more details on Kathakbox here.

“A riot of sight and sound...witty...an artistic feast, as rich in cultural diversity as it is in humour...” Londonist

Ekalya
Alongside developing urban kathak and touring Kathakbox, Sonia and Musical Director and Tabla maestro Sarvar Sabri created a new work within the classical idiom which continues to tour in 2012. Ekalya: meaning ‘solo’ or ‘the one’ is a beautifully intimate crafting of solo dance and live music. ‘The captivating Sonia Sabri, accompanied by an ensemble of musicians presents a journey through the varied moods, rhythms, and intricacies of her uniquely personal style of Kathak.’ Audiences have been enthralled and mesmerized.

“Wow wow wow - thank you all for your delightful and uplifting exploration of human wonder in dance and rhythm - if only every Friday night felt this good!” Audience member

Alchemy
For the last two years, Sonia has been invited to curate, host and perform interactive performance – lectures for the Southbank Centre's Alchemy festival. In 2010, SSCo presentedWhat is South Asian Dance? featuring guest artist and Bharathanatyam virtuoso Mavin Khoo. This provided a ravishing insight to the classical dances of India with projected visuals and performances with live music, including a magnificent duet between Sonia and Mavin. Why do South Asian Dance?, the title of last year’s presentation explored the reasons why Kathak and Bharathanatyam, Britain’s two most popular classical dance forms still resonate with audiences and students today and especially within a populist culture. SSCo conducted a research with over 150 students and the enlightening results were presented in the event. Some of Sonia’s Kathak students and guest Bharathanatyam artist Anusha Subramanyam with her students were invited to perform a variety of short excerpts celebrating the uniqueness of each style. The event was a huge success with an audience in thirst for more.

Milapfest’s Dance India
Milapfest invited Sonia to UK’s most successful and prestigious Indian dance summer school. Legendary artists and teachers from India teach students from UK and abroad at Liverpool Hope University as part an intensive 10 day training course in Kathak, Bharthanatyam and Odissi together with evening performances by the artists. Sonia was the only British dancer to be invited to deliver a lecture-demonstration and perform with Live music as part of a double bill with India’s foremost Bharathanatyam dancer Priyadarshini Govind. The show was a sell out and SSCo received a rapturous standing ovation.

"Assertive...elegant...Sabri is a master of her form" Dance Europe


Education
Sonia Sabri Company delivered a range of workshops in early years settings, community groups, schools and in HE and FE institutions. Some of these ran alongside the Kathakbox and Ekalya performances and others independently.

Sonia specifically delivered choreographic workshops, masterclasses and residencies nationally and internationally. Some of the UK highlights include The Place Summer course, Surrey University, Cambridge University and The Royal Ballet School. A two- year project for a young carers run by Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal in partnership with Gem Arts culminated into a fantastic performance at the Brewery as part of an Indian arts festival.

“I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful teaching of my group last week. The students were so reluctant to try this ‘new’ thing and it was so delightful for me to come in and see them engaged, smiling and DANCING!” Faculty of Education, Cambridge University.


Moving On symposium
Sonia was invited to be a keynote speaker at CICD’s Moving On Symposium at The Curve, Leciester. As she was already booked for a performance of Kathakbox in Plymouth, Sonia presented a pre-recorded talk to the symposium about her experiences of establishing herself as an artist. It was received very well and notably complimented by many, one of which said “she’s a rock star!”.

Monday, 30 January 2012

NEW: Kathak classes in London!


FREE TASTER KATHAK CLASS
and enrolment for future classes

Saturday 11th February, 12-1.30pm and 2.30-4pm
The Broadway Studio, 11 Springbridge Mews, Ealing W5 2AB
For info and bookings call: Katie on 07951 762652

Kathak dance originates from the northern region of the Indian sub-continent and is rich with storytelling through mime and gesture, and vibrant with rhythmic moves, fast footwork and spins. It is one the most popular classical dances from India and has influenced other dance styles such as Bollywood and Contemporary.

Sonia Sabri Company (SSCo) is the UK’s pioneering Kathak dance company of international repute presenting the dance form in a new light. SSCo creates ravishing productions for performances in UK and abroad, as well as training young people to become high quality and professional dance artists. SSCo offers Kathak classes and workshops across the country and is delighted to run classes in London led by one of the company’s talented dancers.

Satveer Pnaiser is a classically trained Kathak dancer. British born, and trained by the leading Kathak artist Sonia Sabri, she has been working for Sonia Sabri Company for 9 years performing nationally and internationally and teaching company classes, workshops for schools and festivals. Satveer is an experienced and dedicated teacher, committed to sharing the joy of dance with others as well as generating new life and ambition to the art through student participation and creative collaboration.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Upcoming performances: Kathakbox

Join us for the Spring 2012 leg of the tour of Kathakbox, which has been wowing audiences and critics across the UK and internationally:

"Kathakbox is a pleasure from start to finish. It creates a positive and energetic atmosphere where we are all one and dance is a joyous means of expression and fun." Laura Dodge, Dance Europe

"A clever interweaving of two distinct art forms, bringing out the subtle nuances of their mutuality... making us all feel a part of the unifying Kathakbox." Graham Watts, Dancing Times

Hope to see you soon at a venue near you:

Thursday 1st March at 8pm
Pegasus Theatre, Magdalen Road, Oxford, OX4 1RE
Box Office: 01865 812 150

Monday 5th March at 7.30pm
South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7PA
Presented in association with Asian Arts Agency
Box Office: 01344 484 123

Tuesday 22nd May at 7.30pm
Solihull Arts Complex, Homer Road, Solihull, B91 3RG
Presented in association with Sampad
Box Office: 0121 704 6962

Saturday 9th June at 7pm
Special double-bill featuring Kathakbox and classical Kathak production Ekalya
Kala Sangam, St Peters House, 1 Forster Square, Bradford, BD1 4TY
Box Office: 01274 303340

Happy New Year!

Sonia Sabri Company would like to wish you all a Happy New Year! 2012 is due to be an exciting year for us as we celebrate the company's 10th birthday. We are planning our celebrations and will have an announcement about a special programme to make soon, so please watch this space!

We are also happy and proud to have been invited by Arts Council, England to be a National Portfolio Organisation from April 2012, and you can read more about that on ACE's website.

We'll be adding more news here soon, and remember you can always keep up with us on facebook and twitter.