Dancing Definitions: Understanding the World of Diavolo Dance Theatre

With Diavolo, universes collide. Art meets science, matter and space coexist, reality ends where imagination begins…And everyday objects are used for extraordinary purposes!  To better help you prepare and understand this incredible performance, which comes to the Norton Center on March 10, we thought we’d offer a deeper look into how Diavolo redefines our expectations…

A definition for Diavolo:

Dia:  (1) Spanish for “day.” (2) Greek for “through, across, from point to point” and (3) The first syllable of Diagilev, whose Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo was supported in part by Baron de Gunzburg and whose great, great, grandnephew is Jacques Heim, creator of Diavolo Dance Theatre.

Volo: Latin for “I fly.”

Diavolo has other connotations too: Diablerie – French for playfulness of humans, the clever, astounding or comical pranks of a child, clown or rascal. It is also the name of a Russian avant-garde circus performer who in the 1920’s did outrageous stunts on a bicycle.

An explanation of the art from Diavolo creator/director Jacques Heim:
“Through the company, I try to convey an appreciation for movement by breaking down barriers to dance via a vocabulary based on everyday activities. Diavolo is made up of people of varied abilities and training – dancers, gymnasts, rock climbers, and actors – all of whom are teammates. Building a team that allows for complete trust has been essential to creating a kind of work where dancers are inspired to take serious risks. Architectural structures or sculpted adaptations of everyday items – sofas, doors, stairs – provide the backdrop for dramatic and risky movement, revealing metaphors for the challenge of maintaining human relationships in modern environments.”

A sneak peek at a couple of pieces that will be presented at the Norton Center on March 10:


“D2R-A”
A wall peppered with protruding metal bars reveals an abstract military obstacle course in the trenches of war.  The restrictions of being wounded or physically limited influence movement, and the dancers must achieve their goals despite self-imposed handicaps and inescapable gravity – yet they have no destination.  D2R-A portrays the chaos of everyday life.

“Origine”
Origine is a sensual solo inspired by the power of the feminine mystique, represented in the form of a cyber-spatial sculpture with sublime contours—a stunningly iridescent, other-worldly apparition.

“Humachina”
Combining the word “human” with the Latin word for machine, “machina,” Humachina explores the relationship between human motion and mechanical forms using the most simple and important of machines, the wheel.

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And there’s a lot more!  Tickets start at just $18.  Contact the box office (1-877-HIT-SHOW) or visit us online for more info.

Categories: A Closer Look

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