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Diavolo Dance Company
Diavolo Dance Company was founded in 1992 with the mission to redefine dance through dynamic movements by sheer teamwork and individual expression. The company is growing with artistic motive of boosting the advancement of dance and entertainment to make the arts more incorporated within the mainstream of America.
With its progressive mode currently the company has housed itself at The Brewery Arts Complex in the heart of downtown Los Angeles in 6,300 square foot studio; which is becoming the central hub for the dance community in Los Angeles.
The artistic director and the founder of the company is French-born choreographer Jacques Heim; a MFA in Choreography from California Institute for the Arts, Los Angeles in 1989. Heim is one of the names in the genre of dance who has achieved tremendously and is well recognized for his work. He received the 1992 Martha Hill Choreography Award by the American Dance Festival, and the 1992 Special Prize of the Jury at the 6th Saitama International Dance Festival in Saitama, Japan.
He was nominated for the 1996 and 2000 Alpert Awards in the Arts for Dance. In 1998 and 1999 Heim was nominated for a Lester Horton award for Best Choreography. He also received a James Irvine Foundation Fellowship in choreography, and a Fellowship from the Brody Arts Fund. In the summer of 2001, Heim was one of three choreographers chosen to create a piece for the Ballet Pacifica Annual Choreographic Workshop. He has been named one of the Faces to Watch in the Arts by the LA Times.
Diavolo Dance Company comprises of people of varied ability and skills that includes dancers, gymnasts, rock climbers, athletes and actors - all of whom are teammates nurtured under the environment of trust to take serious risks while performing. As the performances involve oversized architectural structures
or sculpted adaptations of everyday items - sofas, doors, stairways, chairs - provide the backdrop for dramatic and risky movements; leaping, flying, twirling, to reveal metaphors for the challenge of maintaining human relationships in modern environments. The company tries to convey the pleasure for movement by breaking down barriers to dance via a vocabulary based on everyday activities.
Diavolo Team under the leadership of Jacques Heim takes contemporary age to be very complex with new technologies and marvelous tendencies of experimentation. They probe into everyday act of survival which in current scenario becomes increasingly burdened with anxiety. Exploring the influences of the environment, possessions and relationships they strive to see the covert absurdities of contemporary human life to translate those absurdities through body; in the form of dance.
They capture and comment upon the ironic or satirical prototypes and darker consequences, of human behavior. Diavolo Team has the thriving desire to expand the boundaries of the art we call dance by trying to create movement that offers audiences a cinematic experience of powerful images and abstract narratives.
The creative spirit of Diavolo speculates the audiences as no two pieces of their work are identical. They have developed a method of working over the years which include observation and the ideas of set to be converted into grand structures depicting mundane life. These structures may it be a geometric shape(s) or utility object its mechanical functionality and architectural quality is never compromised.
The work proceeds with the choreographic process when the performers are given the chance to familiarize with the sculptor/set. Organic characterizations and sequences are developed and assembled in the manner of a collage with added input from the costume and lighting designers. The final stage speculated and admired by the audiences is the combined contributions of music composers and dancers of the entire company.
Over the years Diavolo Dance Company has given performances which have hypothesized the audiences. Their abstract performances include Trajectoire which was based on a visceral of human emotions depicting the shift and transcendence of human soul. Tete En L'Air meaning head in the sky portrays the bewilderment caused by isolation in society, they also received three Lester Horton awards for this performance.
Tete au carre which means mentally and physically beaten to appoint of change was performed with the prop of metal square grid depicting disappearance of humanity into architecture. Phantome was a passage to future through you the ghostly past. Origin illustrates the feminine charisma in the presence of huge woman statue. Man Made is a surrealistic symbol for the severe relationship between the temporal quality of the human being and the seemingly absolute, merciless quality of our industrial environment.
Le Seige is about intricate human behavior of wants and desires. Knockturne is about doors dividing space; doors of experience, adventure, friendships, love affairs, families, and business relationships. Humachina is the combination of the word human, with the Latin word for machine, machina and is based on the relationship of both. Equilibre is based on the theme of equilibrium.
The Dreamcatcher is the journey through the struggle, the despair, the pain, the hope, and the joy of our dreams. D2R A and D2R B depict the projections of military obstacles and finding a way through urban landscapes respectively. Chamber depicts the human reaction to its inherent confinement.
Catapult investigates the loving, hating, waiting, worrying, fighting, and dying that make up the human condition. Capture(d) features courtship dance depiction the beauty and hardships of relationships. Bonjour and Apex is also about human relationships. Atom is about the beginning of life.
In 1993, Diavolo Dance Company was nominated for two Lester Horton awards in Los Angeles, and in 1995, Diavolo made its European debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they were named Best of the Fest by the London Independent and Critics Choice by The Guardian. In 1998, the company opened the performance series at the new Getty Center Museum in Los Angeles.
In 1998 Diavolo created its first full evening length work Catapult- which also coincided with Diavolos first full North American tour. During the summer of 2001, Diavolo was able to invite Jelon Viera, Artistic Director of Dance Brazil and the Capoeria Foundation, to Los Angeles to conduct a workshop with the company.
Diavolo Artistic Director Jacques Heim choreographed the show for Cirque du Soleil, which was premiered in April of 2004 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Diavolo has developed numerous educational workshops, residencies, and interactive school concert performances
Diavolo Performance Space in downtowns Brewery Arts Complex now provides a home base for several other contemporary dance companies. Diavolo has been recognized by Los Angeles Magazine as one of the most exciting and imaginative dance companies of the city.
Diavolo has been funded over the years by many individuals, organizations, grants and foundations, including The National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, LA County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, The Skirball Foundation, The Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation, The Grammy Foundation, and The James Irvine Foundation, to name a few.
With daring and thematic performances Diavolo Team is ready to embark on its progressive journey of redefining and revolutionizing the dance sustaining their image of a real crowd pleaser!.