SIDEWARDS is a group of 10 members that have collectively created a platform (based in Antwerp) that serves as a creative outlet for their artistic needs within the dance field, both as a group and as individual dance artists.
Through this platform they can exchange knowledge, artistic practices and create job opportunities for their individual selves and each other, whilst also collaborating with external artists.
SIDEWARDS celebrate the fact that they are an international organisation with many members coming from outside of Belgium.
Anna Tejero Cirera (1997 – Spain), Ismini Slijper (1999 – The Netherlands), Beth Emmerson (1999 – England), Axelle Vienne (1999 – Belgium), Pjotr Nuyts (1999 – Belgium), Amalia Guis (1997 – France), Isabella Arboleda Tovar (1992 – Colombia), Pauline Thuriot (1998 – Belgium), Ehren Verrelst (1999 – Belgium), Pierre Bastin (1998 – Belgium)
Anna, since her tender childhood, had been restless and prone to movement. Even at the age of one year old, she lost the only tooth she had that was never found, in an almost impossible turn. Sometimes she made up words and movements, showing them whenever she had the chance to. She enjoyed observing and being curious about her surroundings. Who knows if this was what led her to take dance classes in addition to play basketball. However the sensitivity of dance won the battle. She entered a dance education school where point shoes and tutus were common in her learning. But the discovery of contemporary dance touched and freed her, opening a world of experimentation and creativity. She continues her journey with an inspiring group of artists on an exciting project called SIDEWARDS and is eager to be a part of without hesitation.
As a child Ismini had many passions. One month she wanted to become a ninja, then again dreamed about opening an animal shelter, and another day gathered all the children of the neighborhood together to take part of the musical she wrote. So when she, because of her newest determination to become a choreographer, announced her wish to start dance classes to her parents, they thought to already see it coming. ‘Ok, but we don’t buy you a tutu until you keep up for it for longer than two months’. But, Ismini proved them wrong. More than ten years later Ismini is still dancing. Intrigued by language, the (moving) body, and the human specie, she hopes to one day be part of work that explores these realms down,-up,-in,-out, and SIDEWARDS.
In the grand old year of 1999, Beth crashed onto the planet into the land of the great Yorkshire Tea, like a deer in headlights, wide eyed and bushy tailed. Despite having two left feet from birth to the age of approximately eight, Beth just couldn’t stop having a good old wiggle and side stepping those feet in a remarkably uncoordinated fashion. It was around 2009, when Beth found that she indeed has only two legs and two arms and started learning how to use them properly, falling not only on the ground, but in love with the process. Since then, Beth has found home in the transformative powerhouse that is dance. She is thrilled to see what treasures can be found from a SIDEWARDS perspective.
Axelle was a very stubborn, energetic, always having the head in the clouds kind of kid with a strong will of her own. Pretty soon it became clear that the classical education model wasn’t her cup of tea. She and her best friend would always push the boundaries, never stop laughing during class or speak up (in some cases quite rebellious) if injustice was done. At the age of 14 she took a big step and decided to study dance. She didn’t necessarily wanted to become a dancer but it just kind of happened to her and now she can’t stop… Analogously SIDEWARDS emerged of which she wholeheartedly became part.
Pjotr started dancing by breakdancing and doing backflips in a garden shed with some friends. To take the next step he started following a dance education. There the backflips slowly turned into contemporary rolls and the spins became pirouettes, at the same time the breakdancing continued and some battles were won. After 10 years of forward rolls and backflips the time was there for him to go SIDEWARDS.
At the age of eight, Amalia found herself with a broken arm, acting a huge whale for a performance at school. To her surprise, she fell in love with performative arts.
It was maybe expected as she was already exploring her creativity by filling cartons boxes with drawings, building cardboard-based armors, creating skits, movies and treasure hunts.
Since then, she still dreams to save the planet with her fighting abilities but with art as her weapon.
She discovered that by looking SIDEWARDLY and working collaboratively, you could create new ways to be engage.
Isabella comes from Colombia and on top of the blue elephant she has toured the world in three hours. She landed in 2017 in Belgium, where she met a group of umpalumpas, with whom she discovered new colors and synesthesia. She’s interested in sleeping positions, dead flowers and the Body. She’s now working on building a sand utopia that is starting to walk SIDEWARDS.
Pauline started dancing - she is ashamed to tell you this – because she wanted to be like Barbie. In a lot of Barbie's amazing movies, she was a ballerina, often with some magic too. Pauline figured out that the only way of reaching this beautifull magic was to go and take ballet classes. She didn’t actually like that specific style as much as she excpected. One day she saw a full ballet piece on the television and started dancing along but not on her feet, as normal ballerinas do. She was doing everyting on the floor. Her dad told her that she should become a floordancer. She immediatly felt proud when he said this, not knowing yet there existed something like floorwork in contemporary dance. Years later she still wants to find the magic through dance and figured out the best way to do that is by listening to what is already in her. And why not start SIDEWARDS to do that?
From being afraid of sand, to a love for air swimming
From a love for chicken wings to being a vegetarian
From flying to South-Africa, to cycling to Paris
From a love for cartwheels, to a love for sweat
From having a bumblebee as my favorite animal, to being afraid of bumblebees
From a love for the color yellow, to a love for stripes, to a love for second hand markets, to a love for secondhand clothes with yellow stripes.
From a love for walking with my eyes closed, to a love for surprises
From going backwards, to forwards, to SIDEWARDS
Pierre started dancing at the age of ten, but never told his friends.
He went away, filling his days with Dutch and ballet.
Pierre was sleeping at the boarding school, and this was super cool.
After 5 years of contemporary, it was time to enter the conservatory.
A big fan of Abba, his inner dancing queen appeared like abbacadabra.
Pierre started to grow vegetables, in hope they will rise as strong as the Incredibles.
Something changed with his new friends, they were now setting the trends.
All those efforts helped him to find SIDEWARDS, that made him as happy as Abba’s top 10 records.