ARTISTIC STATEMENT – SIDEWARDS

We are 14 graduates from the dance programme at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. We come from Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Colombia, Poland, and South Korea. Our three years together have been influenced by creations with Daniel Linehan, Nacera Belaza, Agostina D’Allesandro, and classes and workshops of Tijen Lawton, Michel Yang, Tony Vezich, Martin Nachbar, under the co-ordination of Natalie Gordon and Nienke Reehorst.

Finishing our studies together we noticed the importance of being active in our own futures. The performing art world can be a lonely, isolating journey – we founded this collective on the basis of support and connection – together navigating a complicated, challenging and always changing cultural landscape. We see this collective as a medium to share our practices and visions.

We don’t think of ourselves as a dance company – we are an organisation focused on support and producing dance work.


Some of our goals and proposals:

  • Performing dance: Dance is our shared language, our primary link. It is the main focus of SIDEWARDS and we want to share this! We work with a wide range of performance contexts – with different visions of what an audience can be (participatory, active, passive etc.)

  • Curating and offering events, workshops and labs: Sometimes more interactive situations are better for sharing our ideas, we offer the possibility of teaching, facilitating and organising different platforms with Sidewards.

  • Reaching a wide range of people in a variety of contexts: As a group we feel the need to reach new people, those usually less exposed to art – to enrich our creative vocabulary and our experiences. We are interested in creating for and working with people of all ages.

  • Promote international artists and viewpoints in Belgium.

  • Flexibility. We acknowledge the need for flexibility for our internal collaborators, therefore within the group we have no fixed constellations of people for any given project (some production roles are agreed and consistent). Every project by/with SIDEWARDS may include different personnel.

  • Encourage intersectionality (reflection and understanding of social and political identities, our own and of the people we encounter while also recognising privileges and our own limited representation)

  • Advocating for conversations regarding ecology, climate change and waste.
None of these goals and values are attached to one idea of ‘success’, everything is available for constant re-evaluation. But these are the ideas we wish to take with us through our projects.


Artistic thoughts:

While we are 14 different artists with a variety of artistic visions, we have found some common ground on a creative level and we wish to share this. These are the values and ideas we place importance on:

Honesty
Pleasure (for everyone)
Simplicity
Curiosities Interdisciplinary

Theatricality
Connection to our social surroundings
Physicality
Humour

Generosity
Humanity
Sensation (for everyone)
Play