Premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in London and attended by 8,000 participants, Lok Virsa, which means 'heritage of the people' has toured the UK annually - but this year the event will be virtual.
Birmingham-based Sonia Sabri Company was founded by Artistic Director Sonia Sabri and Musical Director Sarvar Sabri in 2002 to perform and promote the South Asian dance form of Kathak with Indian music as its base.
Sonia says the virtual festival will be global. "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 festival will offer adults and children 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.
There is a rich dance programme with 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 and Afghani folk dance performance by Kathakaars.
Lok Virsa: Good Vibrations also includes Bahram Jamali performing Iranian music, Kamal Sabri playing Indian music, Shafi Mondal performing Bangladeshi music plus Rafique Khan playing Rajasthani folk music and Shyam Nepali with Nepali music.
The festival is supported by Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre where Sonia Sabri Company is an Associate Artist. Hippodrome Director of Artistic Programme Chris Sudworth said: "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."