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Rafaela Sahyoun, 1986 Brazil. Currently based between Brazil & Portugal. 

Educator. Dancer. Maker. Education




Teaching plays a significant role in her practice. Since her return to Brazil in 2014, after eight years studying and performing dance abroad, she has been teaching workshop formats alongside immersive dance courses for different dance companies, public and private institutions, Bachelor's degrees and Post-Graduate programs, and teaching for national and international auditions.


Since 2019 Rafaela has been a guest teacher and collaborator at Pera School of Performing Arts – GAU teaching the Bachelor Degree in Dance.

Also, she teaches the auditions for the dance programs at PERA. Besides teaching, she has made two dance productions for the university, VAWM (2020) and Wheel of Radical Affection (2021).


She has produced and taught the first-round Audition for SEAD – Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance – in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro since 2017.

Since 2020 she teaches at the Post-Graduate Program Corpo: Dança, Teatro e Performance at Célia Helena Centro de Artes e Educação in São Paulo.

Rafaela is a faculty member in the dance curriculum at ECO Teatral, a three-year formation course in theater in São Paulo - Br.

She has also taught for two years regular classes for Jorge Garcia Companhia de Dança in São Paulo.


In 2019 in Berlin, she has taught at Tanzfabrik in the frame of Sommer Tanz. Also, she was invited as a guest artist to teach company classes at Cie. Toula Limnaios. 




Since 2020 she has been a company member of Cia. Perversos Polimorfos (BR). As a freelancer, she is featured in the following productions: "As They Are – Mantras for the body" by Jean Abreu (UK/BR). Supernada by Clarice Lima (BR). "Replay" and Glory [duo] by Renan Martins (DE/BR). "Vortex" by Sara Shelton Mann (USA). “Empty Hour” by Judith Sánches Ruíz (CU/DE). 


From 2015 till 2018, I was a company member of Jorge Garcia Dance Company in São Paulo.


She is also featured in productions by, Alessandro Sciarroni (IT), Morena Nascimento(BR), Cristian Duarte (BR). Marcus Moreno (BR), Sayaka Akitsu (JP), Marco Torrice (IT/BE), Christopher Matthews Hutchings(USA). Clair Lefevrè (FR/AT), Nigel Charnoch (GB), Willi Dorner (AT), Daphna Horenczyk (IL) Ceren Oran (TU/DE), Talita Florêncio (BR) Walter Thompson (USA) Hannah Kramer (USA), Lizzi Kew Ross(Uk) and others.



As a maker Rafaela has created 

Fôlego (2022) , "Wheel of Radical Affection" (2021) , ”VAWM" (2020), The trilogy “NINGUÉMMESOLTA [Don't Lose Me]” (2020-2019-2018), and “Pequenos Atos Para Desacostumar” (2014) . 


Fôlego [ 2022 ]

Creation for Balé da Cidade de São Paulo and commissioned by Centro Cultural São Paulo. The premiere season celebrates the 40th anniversary of CCSP. This piece was made specially for this remarkable year. After premiering the piece becomes part of the repertoire of Balé da Cidade de São Paulo. 


Wheel of Radical Affection [2021]

A creation commissioned by PERA - School of Performing Arts - GAU, designed for the Bachelor's Degree in Dance and premiered onsite in Cyprus. The creation was invited to integrate Buffer Fringe Festival in Cyprus in the following edition of the festival next October 2021


"VAWM" [2020|2021]

Creation commissioned by PERA - School of Performing Arts - GAU for students in the Bachelor Degree in Dance

It was created initially at the University (February 2020) and continued remotely due to the pandemic; it had its premiere in 2021.


"NINGUÉMMESOLTA[Don't Lose Me] [2018 ] has developed into a trilogy over three years.

[2018] Premiered and produced by A Casa Aberta, São Paulo - Brazil 

[2019] Artistic Resident at TanzFabrik, Berlin - Germany. Inviting local guest artists to collaborate in the frame of research process followed by public showing.
[2020] Featured in the Localize Festival, Potsdam - Germany. Produced by the festival and executed through an online virtual residency between Brazil and Germany and performed onsite at Localize Festival.

[2020] Featured in the Festival El Cruce, Rosário - Argentina. Produced by the festival and executed through an online virtual residency between Brazil, Germany, and Argentina and performed virtually at the 19th Edition of Festival El Cruce.


“Pequenos Atos Para Desacostumar” (2014) is Rafaela’s first work in Brazil, Premiered at VII Mostra Lugar Nômade de Dança and at Funarte [Fundação Nacional das Artes] (2015) in São Paulo.


She is the artistic director and curator of the immersive program 'Saia Pra Santa' Dance and Body Practices, which takes place at Santa Esther Farm in Amparo - São Paulo, with four editions, ran from 2017 to 2019 with international guest artists and participants. 




Rafaela graduated from SEAD - Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (Austria) in 2013 and graduated with the program Dance Studies at Trinity Laban (London) in 2010. She participated in two EX-IN 30 days intensive practices with David Zambrano in Spain in 2016 and Germany in 2014.

She is certified as a Multidisciplinary Soundpainter by Walter Thompson (USA) and François Jeaneau (FR). 

Rafaela is currently in the formation of Ayurvedic Practices at Saúde Elementar São Paulo, Brazil.

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