The acclaimed, award-winning Sonia Sabri Company, one of the leading contemporary South Asian dance and music companies in the UK based in Birmngham, has officially announced The Butterfly Project, a community dance partnership with Birmingham based Sähëlï Hub, a Social Enterprise charity dedicated to improving women’s health and wellbeing.

It is widely known that dance is one of the best activities for keeping fit and plays a pivotal role in delivering positive health benefits including improved moods and cognitive skills, increased strength and agility.

Sähëlï Hub operates in three wards with the poorest health outcomes in the city with female populations who are the least likely to take up physical activity, or sport. THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT will provide women, who would not normally have access to dance, a chance to step away from their daily lives, interact with other women from their community, build confidence, make friends, and help improve their physical and mental health.

Sonia Sabri Company, an Associate Company at Birmingham Hippodrome, has an international reputation for presenting Kathak dance in a contemporary context, without diluting its integrity. The company perform professionally across the UK and run regular workshops in dance and music, currently presented online due to COVID-19.

Kathak is one of the major classical dances of India. Kathak, meaning ‘story telling’ originated from Northern India through a group of Nomadic Bards and is performed through mime and dance. A professional dancer will train between 10-15 years full time. Similar to someone training in Ballet.

Kathak is a classical dance form which requires years of dedicated training, time and lifestyle adjustments in order to become a Kathak Artist.

Wolverhampton born - Award-winning Artistic Director Sonia Sabri, one of the world’s leading Kathak dancers, recently appointed Resident Creative at CURVE theatre Leicester said “We are really excited to officially announce the partnership ahead of International Dance Day on 29 April which aims to encourage participation and education in dance.  This year alone we have worked on project-based workshops reaching out to over 600 participants, many of whom feel vulnerable and isolated.

At a time when women’s wellbeing and safety is much in the news, the announcement today platforms the company’s commitment to connect with more women, empower and support them through the arts and help them improve their lives, confidence and wellbeing.”

It is the aim of Sonia Sabri Company to deliver THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT on a yearly basis reaching communities far and wide. Currently, with many community buildings unable to reopen, and no face-to face workshops allowed, Sonia Sabri Company has spent time providing basic Kathak dance training for session leaders from Sähëlï Hub in order to continue to help them engage with participants during lock down. Sähëlï Hub trainees use these skills to develop sessions to lead movement workshops online individually with women from other groups and the local area.

For further information on the work of the Sähëlï Hub please go to saheli.co.uk/home-2/

Further information on Sonia Sabri Company and their online programme can be found here ssco.org.uk