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