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Kathak dance company to join National Portfolio

  • Date: 17 January 2012
  • Artform: Dance
  • Area: Midlands

When Sonia Sabri was seven her father encouraged her to learn South Asian Kathak dancing at mac birmingham.

Years on Sonia is a renowned Kathak dancer and choreographer with an international reputation and her own dance company based in Birmingham. Now Sonia Sabri Company has been invited by Arts Council England to be a National Portfolio Organisation from April 2012.

Kathak is one of eight forms of Indian classical dances originating from North India, and has a history going back over 500 years.

Sonia trained for 11 years attending sessions at mac with the addition of private lessons. By the time she was 17 she had become a recognised artist and made her professional debut at mac. She toured with the Nahid Siddiqui Company. 

Then in her early 20s she started as a freelance and in 2002 set up the Sonia Sabri Company with her husband Sarvar, the internationally renowned tabla player. The company toured the UK and abroad and still continues to tour internationally.

However, Sonia has always regarded mac as her second home.  She is an associate artist based at mac and her company performs there regularly.

In 2011 she acquired studio premises in Birmingham where the professional dancers rehearse and Kathak classes are arranged for all ages and abilities.  She also still runs courses at mac.

Normally the company consists of six dancers and six musicians. Their latest production is Kathakbox which employs Urban Kathak, a brand new dance style. It brings together the traditional grace and vigour of Kathak and the rhythms and rhymes of Hip Hop culture. The show toured England and earlier in 2011 visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Sonia says that in the past she received project funding through Grants for the arts, but really welcomes becoming one of the National Portfolio Organisations.

'I can now start to plan for three years in terms of artistic vision. The future is exciting and I look forward to creating and performing some of the work I have always wanted to work on.

'I am excited about making new friends and working with new partners and strengthening my company.'

For more information on the company visit: