Upcoming performances in Spring 2012

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
http://www.pegasustheatre.org.uk/shows/kathakbox/

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
http://www.solihullartscomplex.co.uk/Arts/Kathakbox/3542

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
http://www.kalasangam.org/

Comments Off

New video: what people say about Kathakbox

We pointed a camera at some of our audience members at the Corsham Festival, Wiltshire; The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough; and The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton and asked them what they thought of the show. As you can see, people of all ages and backgrounds are really enjoying the show and have some interesting things to say!

Comments Off

Sonia Sabri Co’s dance & music classes are starting soon…

Alongside touring, Sonia Sabri Company also offer dance and music classes! These are an exciting opportunity for people of all ages and experiences to discover the joy and versatility of Indian dance and music, with acclaimed professional performers and teachers.

Classes take place at mac (Midlands Arts Centre), Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham. All classes start week beginning 12th September, and each term lasts for 12 weeks. To book, call mac on 0121 446 3232 or visit www.macarts.co.uk

Dance Classes
Join the company on an exploration of the joy of Indian dance! Students will have the opportunity to perform; take grade examinations through ISTD; and opportunity to be recruited by Kathakaars dance and music company led by Sonia Sabri.

Creative Indian Dance: Combining techniques from Indian classical Kathak, folk, contemporary and Urban styles, set to modern Indian fusion. Develop technique, posture, and confidence, and grow into a versatile dancer. These classes are ideal for children, and parents and children.
Saturday 12 – 1pm
Age: 8+ Level: Beginners
Tickets £75.00 (£63.00)
Book online here

Kathak Classes: Kathak is a rich, diverse and rewarding art form which is enjoyable to learn and develops grace, control, posture and above all confidence. Classes will look to create new dance pieces, inspired by other cultural references.
Saturday 1 – 2pm
Age: 8+ Level: Beginners/Improvers
Tickets: £75 (£63)
Book online here

Music classes

Tabla classes: The tabla consists of a set of two drums, treble and bass, and originates from Northern India. In these lively group sessions you will learn basic strokes, rhythm and speed control. The class is taught by renowned performer, composer and teacher Sarvar Sabri.
Wednesdays 7pm-8pm
Age: 8+ to Adult Level: Beginners/Improvers
Price: £85 (£70)
Book online here

Advanced classes and private tuition are also available upon request. For further information please contact Sonia Sabri Company on 0121 442 6742 or email info@ssco.org.uk.

Comments Off

Autumn 2011 Tour Dates

Come to see Kathakbox at a venue near you!

Friday 16th September
The Public (in partnership with Black Country Touring)
New Street, West Bromwich, B70 7PG
Box Office: 0121 533 7161
http://www.thepublic.com/events/kathakbox

Tuesday 20th September
Harrow Arts Centre
171 Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, Middlesex, HA5 4EA
Box Office: 020 8416 8989
http://www.harrowarts.com/go/dance/details/739-sonia-sabri-company-kathakbox

Wednesday 21st September
Arena Theatre
Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1SE
Box Office: 01902 321321
www.arena.wlv.ac.uk

Friday 23rd September
Macrobert
University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA
Box Office: 01786 466666
www.macrobert.org

Moday 24th October
Tobacco Factory Theatre (in partnership with Asian Arts Agency)
Raleigh Road, Southville, Bristol, BS3 1TF
Box Office: 0117 9020344
www.tobaccofactorytheatre.com

Wednesday 26th October
University of Surrey
Guildford, GU2 7XH
Box Office: 01483 686876
http://www.surrey.ac.uk/arts/dance/

Friday 28th October
Barbican Theatre (in partnership with Asian Arts Agency)
Castle Street, Plymouth, PL1 2NJ
Box Office: 01752 267131
http://www.barbicantheatre.co.uk/whats_on.php

Saturday 12th November
Contact Theatre
Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6JA
Box Office: 0161 274 0600
http://www.contactmcr.com/

Saturday 26th November
Dance City (in partnership with Gem Arts)
Temple Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4BR
Telephone: 0191 261 0505
www.dancecity.co.uk

Wednesday 30th November
Salisbury Arts Centre (in partnership with Asian Arts Agency
Bedwin Street, Salisbury, SP1 3UT
Box office: 01722 321744
http://www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk/home.aspx

Comments Off

Kathakbox nominated for a London Dance Award – support us!

Sonia Sabri Company has been nominated for the London Dance Award for it’s hugely successful touring show Kathakbox. In order for us to win, we need as many ‘likes’ or ‘tweets’ as we can get. Please support us by visting the link below, scrolling down to Kathakbox and ‘liking’ the review.

http://www.londonfestivalfringe.com/general/awards2011/dance/

Many thanks from the Kathakboxers!

Comments Off

Summer 2011 tour dates

Tuesday 21st June, 7.30pm
Corsham Festival, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9HX
Tickets: £10.00 (£9.00)
Box office: 01249 701628 or box.office@poundarts.org.uk
www.poundarts.org.uk

Thursday 22nd June, 7.30pm
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Westborough, Scarborough, YO11 1JW
Tickets: £12.50 / £15 / £7.50 student
Box Office: 01723 370541
www.sjt.uk.com

Thursday 30th June, 7.30pm
The Courtyard Theatre, Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JR
Tickets: £12 (£10)
Box Office Tel No: 01432 340555
www.courtyard.org.uk

Monday 4th July
New Vic Theatre, Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 0JG
Tickets: £13.50 (concessions & under 16s free)
Box Office: 01782 717962 or tickets@newvictheatre.org.uk
www.newvictheatre.org.uk

Saturday 9th July 7.30pm
Plus Colouring In The World performed by South Lakeland Young Carers and Young Cumbria
Presented in association with Gem Arts
Brewery Arts Centre, Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4HE
Tickets: £10 (£8concession).
Box Office: 01539 725133
www.breweryarts.co.uk

Comments Off

Kathakbox: Views and Reviews…

We’re getting some fantastic feedback for Kathakbox on the road, here’s a taster of what people have been saying so far…

Press:

“Sabri devises a dialogue between forms that is at once familiar and new; and by introducing these forms to one another without allowing one to take over from the other, the piece makes a light and playful comment on cultural identity and difference. As Sabri’s own final rap puts it: “You, me, him, her, we are what we are.” Above all, Kathakbox looks like it’s heaps of fun to perform. During the extended body percussion section, in which all seven performers slap arms, legs and torsos to produce a tub-thumping beat that gets the audience clapping and whooping along, they looked like they were enjoying themselves so much I felt like jumping up onstage to join them. Sabri herself is cute as a button and full of vibrant energy, and dancers Amayra Fuller, Suzanne Grubham and Nathan Fuller all easily engage the audience. A very complete piece, with dance, music, spoken word and set all working together to support the theme, Kathakbox is at the same time uplifting and highly enjoyable.
Lise Smith, londondance.com. Full review here

“The rhythmical complexities combined with…traditional Indian singing would put many modern hip-hop artists to shame. Kathakbox used the idea of needing a racially aware society and made it its own. Sabri asked us to define our own identities regardless of race in what can solely be described as creative genius.”

Redbrick. Full review here

“It was an outstanding evening to say the least, Kathakbox performance had been an amazing mix of a variety of arts, cultures, dances. The event which took place at Abu Dhabi Theater on the 26th of February, is still in our minds!…What makes Kathakbox stands out from the crowd is that it moves you to another planet where no music instruments are used, its only the power of our human bodies. It layers complex Indian rhythms and tabla- vox with the verbal dexterity of multilingual poetry.”
Abu Dhabi Zoom

Audiences:

“Inspiring show, cutting edge and brave. Some important commentary about multiculturalism and social cohesion as well. I particularly enjoyed the fusion of music, rhythmic words and dance and the clever merging of disparate dance-styles, that appeared to take every performer out of their “comfort zone” and challenged them to integrate their familiar style with other dance styles. A difficult project that was executed excellently, yet the performance remained entertaining an accessible. Loved it!”

“Amazing performance last night at Abu Dhabi, congratulations to all the artists, loved the ‘jugalbandi’ part.”

“I was one of the lucky few to get a brief preview of the upcoming Kathakbox performances that will be taking place in the UAE this week…in brief, it’s an awesome modern artistic production, by Sonia Sabri and Company, that combines “movement, gesture, expression, music and the spoken word”… Very cool stuff if you ask me and much more than what I had expected.”
Whose-sane, Abu Dhabi

“It was very interesting to see the similarities between the different dance styles, and how at the end they are able to express the same things, the show was like a Rosetta stone giving you the keys to understand each dance style. For me that I have never seen Kathak before it was a great way to get to know it, appreciate it and get curious to see and learn more about it.”
Omar-paint, UAE

“basically acknowledging differences within our current British culture but emphasising the common human threads that fundamentally conjoin us”

“the whole performance was a collaboration…really clever and extraordinary. It was a really diverse show.”

“Different, fabulous!”

“One of the best dance companies I’ve seen.”

“Excellent. A breath of fresh air!”

“Innovative & inspiring.”

“The dancers were amazing! There was so much going on!”

A big thank you to all of our wonderful audiences who are really taking the show to heart, we look forward to seeing more of you soon at our forthcoming dates!

Comments Off

Q&A with Sonia on londondance.com

Check out a brand new Q&A with Sonia about Kathakbox, Alchemy, hip hop, NPO and more on:

http://www.londondance.com/content.asp?CategoryID=3904

And don’t forget we are performing Kathakbox at The Place, London on 7th May! Details and bookings here:

http://www.theplace.org.uk/?lid=8639

Hope all of our friends are having a wonderful Spring, see you at a show soon!

Comments Off

Sonia on… Kathakbox

So what is Kathakbox? And why Kathakbox? Sonia says…

“Kathakbox is a dialogue, rather than a fusion, of artistic disciplines. For me, it reflects the diversity of our society. Growing up in the UK I have absorbed a great variety of cultural, musical and dance influences alongside my Kathak practice, which inform and challenge my work.

Kathakbox is a poem, capturing a thought about our identity, separation and togetherness and how we relate to Others. I wanted to explore what happens when people of different backgrounds come together, who may not all speak the same mother tongue, but manage to communicate through a common language. When they do, they may have different accents, diction, grammar and body language which convey their individuality and cultural origin. Dance and music are our languages in Kathakbox, as we find artistic meeting points where one style relates to another rather than teaching each other about our individual styles. During the process of working together, our vocabularies changed by association as we picked up on each others’ groove and artistic mannerisms – physically, emotionally, vocally and ideologically. Dialogues emerged through curiosity or circumstance, using our individual physical grammar, and developing a common language.

Working with hip hop we have found many parallels with Kathak. Hip hop is raw, informal, laid back and spontaneous; this is how Kathak is originally, and still is in many contexts in India. We are all part of the same family. This is the seed of Kathakbox.”

Sonia Sabri, Artistic Director

Comments Off

Creativity, Community and the Arts – seminar

Part of Birmingham City University’s contribution to Sonia Sabri Company’s visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai was to put together a seminar that would highlight examples of creativity and community in the arts.

I chaired the event which took place at Abu Dhabi Women’s college on 24th February. I was joined on the panel by Amanda Roberts, Arts Development Director at Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), Hannah Henderson, Head of Arts, Middle East, British Council and Sonia Sabri herself.

I’ve put mine and Amanda’s contributions online below. I looked at how digital is supporting community cohesion and used Bournville as an example whilst Amanda highlighted MAC’s many arts projects and their outreach work:

Comments Off