November 2019- February 2020
SLDC'S NEW TRIPLE SHOW 'UNTAGGED' PREMIERES AT OFS, OXFORD
February 2020: On 27 February 2020, SLDC presented the first outing of its new triple bill solo dance show – UNTAGGED - at Arts at the OFS, Oxford. The show comprises three distinct dance pieces themed around issues of identity and discarding societal labels. 'Breaking Ground', 'Agraha' and 'Devi' are powerful narratives told through the medium of Kathak and contemporary dance with flamenco influences, performed by Sonia Chandaria Tillu.
Says Sonia: "The purpose of Sona Lisa Dance Company is to develop new audiences that span generations, ethnicities and cultures and this is exactly what ‘Untagged’ does. We use this ancient, enduring and powerful art form to reflect the contemporary world, in this instance to interrogate ingrained notions of binary identity."
SONIA CHANDARIA TILLU TEACHES KATHAK AT DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY, LEICESTER
February 2020: On 24 February, Sonia Chandaria Tillu was invited to run a Kathak dance workshop at the highly-regarded Cultural Exchanges Festival 2020.
In its nineteenth year, the Festival is organised by De Montfort University to promote a closer relationship between the University and the city of Leicester. Its signature is an eclectic week of talks, performances and workshops and attracts an outstanding range of artists and speakers. Over the years, the Festival has welcomed approximately fifty thousand audience members fulfilling its aim of reaching out to the wider public and new attendees, an aim which resonates with SLDC's own mission to develop new arts audiences.
SLDC STARTS WORK ON NEW PRODUCTION 'DEVI'
January 2020: SLDC is excited to announce the commencement of its new production 'Devi' (meaning goddess) - a pure classical solo Kathak dance production performed by Sonia Chandaria Tillu. Using the expressional and rhythmical qualities of the dance form, Devi will explore ideas of spiritual identity, and what it means to be spiritual. The piece has been choreographed by UK’s foremost Kathak dancer and choreographer, and Sonia's guru, Sujata Banerjee MBE.
SLDC'S PRODUCTION 'BREAKING GROUND' PREMIERS AT MAC BIRMINGHAM
December 2019: On 30 November, SLDC premiered its dance production 'Breaking Ground' at the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) Birmingham. Commissioned by Sampad arts, the innovative show explores emotional conflicts arising from multicultural identity using dance, a specially-comissioned music score and bespoke poetry.
Director of Sampad, Piali Ray OBE said “We are delighted to be supporting Sonia Chandaria Tillu in this trailblazing piece of dance which really unpicks and unpacks cultural identity and heritage. Sonia has collaborated with some exceptional artists on Breaking Ground and watching it come together has been a real pleasure.”
The evening also featured a preview of SLDC’s new production ‘Āgraha’, and a classical Kathak performance.
SONIA CHANDARIA TILLU TAKES PART IN AKRAM KHAN CLASSICAL INTENSIVE 2019
November 2019: This week, world-renowned Kathak and contemporary dancer and choreographer Akram Khan is holding his first classical dance intensive and Sonia Chandaria Tillu is one of the 15 dancers selected for the Kathak intensive.
The 5-day programme is being led by Akram Khan and Mavin Khoo and is aimed at highly-trained Indian classical dancers (Kathak and Bharatanatyam) who have a particular interest in developing classical choreography with a contemporary sensibility. In addition to Akram Khan, the workshops are being taught by a host of other stellar artists from across the world and will be accompanied by international musicians.
SONIA CHANDARIA TILLU RECEIVES NORMA ABBOTT DANCE BURSARY 2019
November 2019: Sonia Chandaria Tillu has been announced as recipient of the prestigious 2019 Norma Abbott Dance Bursary. The Bursary is awarded by the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) Birmingham annually to support one West Midlands-based emerging dance practitioner with their professional development.
Sonia will use the £500 award to offer a fresh new perspective on her future dance practice, building the foundations for a strong, innovative and unique outreach dimension. She will also be collaborating with legendary UK-based South African percussionist, composer and poet Eugene Skeef.
The bursary was set up in 2015 by Peter Abbott, in memory of his wife Norma - a Customer Service Assistant at MAC for many years.