Building trust through “Sideways Rain” by ALIAS

Contemporary dance project by Guilherme Botelho breaks down barriers throughout the Middle East

Challenge

Middle Eastern countries are entangled in highly complex geopolitical situations. This demands innovative and creative solutions to enable collaboration through a project with shared vision and goals.

How can contemporary dance and creative collaborative processes bring this vision forward?

Journey

Sideways Rain, created by choreographer Guilherme Botelho, engages with ideas of peaceful collaboration, creativity, boundaries, peace, and togetherness, and draws both dancers and spectators into conversation beyond dance. It is a groundbreaking collaboration between ALIAS Dance Company and dancers from the Arab and Persian world (Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisa) performing together to share human and artistic experiences. These messages, along with the collaborative approach of the performances, inspire that peaceful collaboration is possible. The piece can be read as an ode to life, to its primal force, its infinite energy and its mysterious laws that rule the world. We become spectators of the birth of the universe, its forward march, its decline and its possible renaissance.

We brought Sideways Rain, and ALIAS dance company to the attention of the diplomatic communities of the Middle East and the United Nations, engaging United Nations’ Ambassadors from Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon to expand the project’s reach and raise awareness.

Impact

  • This first of its kind production was presented in 2016 at major contemporary dance festivals in Lebanon (Beirut), Jordan (Amman), Palestine (Ramallah) and Israel (Jerusalem).
  • The choreography of Sideways Rain was practiced through local workshops and organized in close collaboration with the BIPOD festival in Beirut.
  • This process opened a new dialogue, not only among dancers, who were brought together for the first time, but also among spectators. Dancers originating from countries in conflict performed together touring the all four countries.
  • A documentary film about the tour and its experiences is currently being developed and will be presented to foster dialogue with diverse communities and inspire peaceful collaboration.

Additional Resources:

Sideways Rain, Al-Madina Theater, Beirut (Video) 

About Sideways Rain and ALIAS

To search for unexplored, hidden and unusual angles' to go for a quest for what is left unsaid and to put in motion the inner debates. Dance, as a middleman between I and the world.
Guilherme Botelho, Choreographer and Founder of ALIAS

PHOTO GALLERY

Middle Eastern tour with Alias performing in Beirut, Amman, Ramallah and Jerusalem. Preceding the tour, our meeting with Ibrahim Khraishi, Palestine Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.