Arriving at Sadler’s Wells for the first time, Geneva based dance group Alias performs Sideways Rain. Directed and choreographed by Guilherme Botelho, Alias have produced more than 20 new works and performed in Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America to critical acclaim. Sideways Rain was created in 2010 and is one of the company’s biggest hits, attracting popularity all over the world. Performing on the 15 – 16 November at Sadler’s Wells, Aesthetica spends a few minutes with Guilherme Botelho.
A: At the root of Sideways Rain is a profound examination of human nature and energies. How do you go about capturing something as diverse andcomplex as this through movement?
GB: I think that simplicity of Sideways Rain concept gives space to connect to those basics elements of human nature: time passing, destiny, death, human connections, dictatorship of the mass,etc.
A: From where does the title for the performance come?
GB: Sideways Rain is a meteorological expression where the rain, something very common, becomes special by going sideways , not down, because of the wind. Is is the idea of something common seen in a unique way- it seemed perfect for this piece.
A: Can you tell us a little more about the score Sideways Rain is set to, and how it complements the choreography?
GB: The music from Murcof is quite perfect for this piece, not just in an aesthetic sense but in a dramaturgical way, the hypnotic aspect of Sideways is enhanced in a subtle way by the music, and the graphic aspect of the choreography is well supported also by the score.
A: The Sideways Rain company is 16-strong. How important is collaboration to you, and what contributions and qualities do some of the featured performers bring to the piece?
The collaboration with the dancers is probably the most important aspect of doing a piece for me. Because of the performers, Sideways has a double aspect; it is a mass, group , river of different people, and at the same time strong individuals get our attention. This piece needs dancers that have strong personalities, that at the same time are strong enough technically to be able to melt into the mass, to move like each other, and at times disappear in this human river, and at other times let their particular characteristics come out naturally and have a strong personal presence.
A: Alias has performed around the world, and Sideways Rain itself has been a hit across several countries. The performances at Sadler’s Wells marks its UK premiere; in what ways is this space and this organisation well suited to presenting the work for the first time?
GB: I believe it will be fantastic. The theatre has the technical and visual qualities to bring out the best in this piece, and I’m very happy to come to Sadler’s Wells with Sideways. It will be a chance to touch new audiences, and hopefully it is also the beginning of a rich partnership
A: What other projects are there on the horizon for Alias, and do you have further plans to work with Sadler’s Wells?
GB: I’ll be starting to research to a new piece that opens in 2014 that will close a trilogy, that Sidways is part of. I am quite excited to work with this project, it has been in my head for a few years. I also have projects of work in non traditional performance spaces, and with artists that I’ve been wanting to work with for a long time. It is a very exciting moment for the company with lots of interesting projects and rich collaborations on the horizon.
Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R, 15 – 16 November.