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:


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


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

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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

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Some thoughts on Kathakbox rehearsals

We (Karen and Leonie – a bit about us here) visited Mac on Thursday morning (3rd February) and rehearsals were in full swing. The Kathakbox artists are working very hard everyday at the Mac, and we got a great taste of how the team works together and how the performance takes shape in the run up to the premiere in two weeks.

RehearsalsThe team of artists are working very organically, and every member has the opportunity to put across their views and suggest changes for the project.
On Thursday, collaboration with the audience in the middle of the performance came up and Sarvar, Sonia, Amayra and Nathan all bounced ideas off each other about how best to do this. What was great about this was that the different artists from diverse backgrounds (Sarvar, a tabla player; Sonia, the artistic director and choreographer; Amayra, a contemporary dancer; and Nathan, a b-boy) were all collaborating together and contributing to the design of the show. It seems the performance is constantly changing and could appear different in some aspects from one day to the next. The process is so natural and organic and it shows how well the team work together and how well they combine their respective skills. -Kaz

At times, each dancer has his or her own moves, and it seems chaotic and disorganised but at the same time, really meshes well. After a period of non-synchronous performance, the dancers’ movements eventually harmonise. As a result, the show keeps the audience on their toes. When I saw it I didn’t know what was going to come next! The mix of the different dances together with spoken word makes it a really exciting performance the likes of which I have never seen before.
All the performers have a fantastic charisma and they harmonise very well during their performance. -Leonie

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