Dance Review: Alias Dance Company

'Sideways Rain,' Suzanne Dellal, October 5.

Sideways Rain 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Sideways Rain 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A group of dancers enter the stage on all fours, move from left to right and exit, while more and more seem to join this ceaseless stream, resembling migrating herds hurrying to the water hole before darkness falls. They are only 13 dancers, but manage to look like hundreds, streaming in and out. They don’t utter a sound, or acknowledge others, they just do what nature demands of them, seeming to follow a primordial call embedded in their genes.
After long moments some changes appear. The dancers move along the same invisible lines but find numerous ways to do it; jumping and sliding sideways, rolling fast forward, sideways, backwards, any which way – but they keep pouring in.
The repetitive movement has an hypnotic effect while the soundtrack by Fernando Corona supports the action on stage with intensive, rather high-pitched white noise, a perfect complement to the streaming movement on stage.
During the hour-long composition we witness a Darwinian evolutionary process, which is the main theme choreographer Guilherme Botelho sought to present.
Besides the overall theme, Botelho also includes a fascinating examination of movement in space and the strong effects minute details can have when placed in the right context.
Every change in the rhythm of a single dancer against the flow, a stumble, the first dancer that progress backwards, each insignificant disturbance can be jolting.
Toward the end, the dancers run nude, pulling elastic strings across the stage and soon filling it with dozens of white lines. It has a strong visual and conceptual effect and yes, it looks like sideways rain.