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Sonia Sabri Company

Parallels Classical


Photograph by Simon Richardson, 2008.
Profile created by Shezad Khalil in consultation with Sonia Sabri

SONIA SABRI (Artistic Director, Choreographer and Dancer)
Founded in 2002, the Sonia Sabri Company’s contemporary endeavours utilize the rudimentary ingredients of the North Indian classical dance mode of Kathak. These classical structures provide the basis for her post-modern motifs. The vocabulary of Sabri’s high art is unremittingly extended and expanded upon as her voyage of discovery generates a “new” dance discourse that is of relevance to the contemporary spectator.

The formation of Sabri’s discourse was largely due to her exasperation of the Kathak form as being represented in an “untouched” way. She began to query the choices of the classically trained choreographer and dancer when constructing the arrangements of Kathak. As an artist she began to recognize how there were many possibilities of “physicalizing” those thoughts transpiring in her mind. Sabri invented many compositional arrangements transferring what was being imagined onto the performance space.

At the same time, Sabri desired to preserve the classical components to her configurations, but also chose to extensively impel the frontiers of Kathak. It is this expansion of the margins of Kathak that have led Sabri to formulate a dance vocabulary that epitomizes how the twenty-first century subject is also open to many possibilities in terms of his or her identity.