Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tick box - which box?

Sonia Sabri first engaged the audience by showing off her skills as an acclaimed dancer with a short video. After it had finished she asked the simple question of "What box did that tick?" vocalising in one question all of what she stands for as an individual, a dancer and a choreographer.

Growing up in an Asian family in Birmingham, Sonia's Father wanted her to complete the dream he himself did not succeed at - becoming a famous Bollywood face. This, she said, was the main influence that got her into dance. Having been rejected from a Kathak dance group and told to come back a year later, she returned as asked. She was eight years old. Although she appeared confident, combating shyness was a struggle. Once it was conquered, Kathak became her life.

Wanting to break the perceptions of 'Exotic dance' as a heading covering every type of Indian dance we see, Sonia has gone as far as exploring links between Kathak and Hip-Hop, uniting dance forms and broadening scopes as she goes in her latest tour KathakBox.

Sonia's one big aim is not to abolish 'tick boxes.' While she admits that sometimes ticking the right box can open the door to new opportunities, she's determined to show that dance is not something that can be put into a certain box or category. Sometimes in life it is "safer to just choose 'other'" as an option to avoid confining yourself.

Celia Wilding

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