Free online arts festival set to attract international music, dance and crafts.
The internationally-acclaimed Sonia Sabri Company, a dynamic dance and music company, have announced details of the first online version of its highly popular Lok Virsa Festival for 2021.
Lok Virsa, fast becoming one of the leading festivals of its kind in the UK, was first premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in London attended by 8000 participants.
The festival, now in its seventh year, celebrates some of the rarely experienced traditional and folkloric art of music, crafts and dance rooted in the lands of the Indian subcontinent.
Lok Virsa, which means ‘heritage of the people’, has toured the country annually and would normally take place live in a venue across one day. However, adapting the festival online during lockdown has meant Sonia SAbri can transform the festival to a virtual world-class stage of workshops and performances over seven days.
Sonia Sabri, Artistic Director, dancer-choreographer, said: “This year, Lok Virsa, Good Vibrations truly is an International Festival. As well as artists from the UK, we are delighted to welcome artists from Iran, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, India, and Bangladesh. Each will come together across the week to bring colour, energy and high-class performances and events into our homes at what continues to be a challenging time for everyone.”
The free events will provide adults and children from diverse backgrounds with the opportunity to experience an array of arts and crafts workshops and participatory activities including Rangoli (using coloured rice, lentils, and flower petals to create eye-catching designs on the floor) Henna Painting, Block Printing and Weaving from award-winning artist Nilupa Yasmin.
The festival’s dance offer features founder Sonia Sabri performing her own form of Kathak dance, Bengali folk-dance performance with Shadhona Dance Company; Indian folk dance with Kinga Malec; Folk Dance of Bangladesh workshop by Arthy Ahmed; Silk scarf dance workshop of Afghanistan led by a member of the Sonia Sabri Company and Afghani folk dance performance by Kathakaars.
Chris Sudworth, Birmingham Hippodrome Director of Artistic Programme added: “Birmingham is the biggest dance city outside of London, and at Birmingham Hippodrome we support several Associate companies, led by some of the best choreographers in the region, to reach new audiences with new work – Sonia Sabri is definitely one of those.
“We have worked with Sonia since 2018, supporting her to create and tour her new family production ‘Same Same…But Different’ nationally, and to host a fantastic Lok Virsa Festival at the Hippodrome in 2019. We’re delighted to support Sonia to adapt the Festival for online audiences, offering workshops and performances, and to look ahead to further collaborations for the future.”
Events will be broadcast across Sonia Sabri Company’s social media platforms. All workshops and performance details will be available via Facebook.