artistic statement

About us

Sidewards is a group of 10 members that have collectively created a platform, based in Antwerp, which serves as a creative outlet for our artistic needs within the dance field. Both as a group and as individual dance artists.

Through this platform, we can exchange knowledge, and artistic practices as well as create job opportunities for ourselves and each other, with the possibility of collaborating with external artists. Besides this, the collective acts as a source of support and provides a sense of community for each of us within the dance industry. Sidewards celebrates the fact that they are an international organisation with many members coming from outside of Belgium.

How did we meet?

All Sidewards members are Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp alumni. Having finished our contemporary dance studies together, we founded the base of the collective on the deep trust and friendship present in Sidewards, built through years of studying together. This is what guides our desire to continue working together in a professional capacity. Our background at the conservatoire serves as a common ground, but we also champion each member’s unique qualities and individual experiences as artists in the field. At the end of our education in 2020 we founded this collective intending to be active in our future.

How do we work?

We operate as a collective without hierarchical structures defining our work and position but opt instead for flexibility and equality. We wish to maintain a safe and empathetic platform for each member of the group to feel supported in any risks they wish to take both from an artistic and a practical point of view. That’s why the roles we take on can change from project to project and space for reflection is prioritised. We believe that this interchangeable working method is a unique way of educating ourselves on the different aspects of working in the performing arts field and navigating challenges together. It helps us to welcome various approaches and allows the individual members to also engage in their practices besides the collective. The experiences of the individuals serve to strengthen the work of the collective.

What does Sidewards do?

Sidewards’ heart and soul is dance.
 We create dance performances in a variety of settings which aim to highlight the voices of any Sidewards member who wishes to lead a project. We have learned that sharing dances brings us community, which is often a red thread that runs through our work.

 Besides creating performances, we also find it relevant to engage in projects such as organising art festivals, giving workshops and advocating for an inclusive, playful and honest atmosphere within the field of the arts. Sidewards values using its platform to participate in the action and conversation needed regarding climate change, intersectionality and causes that feel relevant to individual members.

At the heart of our practice, is a sense of joy in working together, learning from one another and championing individual voices. From this palate emerges a wide variety of unique cultural events and performances, that Sidewards feel proud to present as part of our platform.

Meet the Sidewards team

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), Olivia Rose Doyle (1995, England)