White Bird Launches Season 17 with Dazzling Diavolo

When: Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 9-11, 2014, 7:30 pm
Where: Newmark Theatre – 1111 SW Broadway, Portland
Tickets: Starting at $26, available at whitebird.org and Portland’5 Box Office
1111 SW Broadway (formerly PCPA) NO added fees.
1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).
Sponsors: Michael Curry & Julia Hannegan; James & Kathleen Meyer; Opsis Architecture
Media Sponsor: The Oregonian
Info: www.whitebird.org

“Daredevil dancers leaping and cavorting on a supersized Wonderland.” –Los Angeles Times

White Bird is excited to launch its 17th season of contemporary dance from around the world with Diavolo, based in Los Angeles and founded by Jacques Heim, that has received worldwide acclaim for its remarkable fusion of everyday movement, ballet, contemporary, acrobatics, gymnastics, martial arts, and hip-hop. Dubbed “Architecture in Motion,” Diavolo, which White Bird last presented in Portland in 2003, will perform a thrilling two-part program: Heim’s classic Trajectoire, called “organized peril” by The New York Times, and their most recent critically praised work Fluid Infinities, the third part of a trilogy commissioned and originally performed by the LA Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl.

Fluid Infinities (2013) is set to Philip Glass’s evocative and haunting Symphony No. 3 and features an abstract dome structure sitting on a reflecting mirror. The ten athletic performers explore metaphors of infinite space, continuous movement, and our voyage into the unknown future. The dome’s organic patterns evoke the craters of the moon, a honeycomb of bees, a shifting brain, or an undiscovered starship. As Diavolo’s dancers explore the structure with seamless movement that combines the lyricism of ballet with the recklessness of death-defying leaps, Fluid Infinities investigates the persistence of life through struggle and the promise of life to change beyond the space of time. Diavolo’s performers are as striking as the remarkable set, described by LA Weekly as “an extraordinarily muscular and broad shouldered troupe of five men and five women who look like they might well be more at home in a boxing ring than in a dance studio.” Culture LA says of Fluid Infinities, “Fluid Infinities is one of Diavolo’s best, most fully realized productions so far.”

Concluding the program is Trajectoire, created in 2001, that is vintage Diavolo. It is set on a 21st century galleon ship, as Jacques Heim calls it, that the Diavolo dancers rock back and forth with astonishing skill and fearlessness. It is a visceral and emotional journey illustrated through the performers’ continuing attempts to find their balance. They hurl themselves across the ship and grasp on to whatever they can grasp on to. The Santa Barbara Independent pointed out that Heim’s goal is “to charge the architectural space with dynamism… giving substance and form to the performers’ physicality.”

Jacques Heim has been a transformative choreographer for over 20 years. He founded Diavolo in 1992 and has directed the company’s distinct style of Architecture in Motion ever since. Mr. Heim was born and raised in Paris, France. His earliest experiences with performance came from street performing. He attended Middlebury College (B.F.A. in Theater, Dance, and Film), the University of Surrey in England (Certificate for Analysis and Criticism of Dance), and the California Institute for the Arts (M.F.A., Choreography). In addition to his work with Diavolo, Jacques has worked extensively for other companies in dance, theater, TV, and special events worldwide. For Cirque du Soleil, Jacques choreographed KÀ—in partnership with Portland’s famed puppet maker Michael Curry and Canadian theater director Robert Lepage—at at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas. He was invited to be a Creative Director for the Opening Ceremony of The 16th Asian Games, in Guangzhou, China. On television, his work has appeared on BBC America’s Dancing with the Stars and Bravo’s Step Up and Dance. In addition to three United States Artists Fellowship nominations and four Alpert Award nominations, Jacques has received the Martha Hill Choreography Award of the American Dance Festival.

During the past twenty years, Diavolo has created dozens of dance works, forming one of the dance field’s most compelling repertoires, from seminal pieces like Trajectoire (2001) to new works like Cubicle (2014-2015). The Los Angeles Philharmonic commissioned Diavolo to create L’Espace du Temps, a trilogy of new dance works, each of which premiered live with the orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl: Foreign Bodies (2007), Fearful Symmetries (2010), and Fluid Infinities (2013). The entire trilogy received its premiere as a single concert program at the 2014 Movimentos Festival in Wolfsburg, Germany. Inspired by the movement of skateboarding, Transit Space (2012) was the first dance work ever created in residency at Glorya Kaufman presents Dance at the Music Center, Los Angeles. Transit Space received its world premiere at Penn State University in the culminating event of Diavolo’s participation in the national Creative Campus initiative.

White Bird’s 2014-15 season is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Work for Art, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and The Boeing Company.

White Bird Launches Season 17 with Dazzling Diavolo