Diavolo expected to heat up the stage in Calgary

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WATCH ABOVE: For the first time ever, Diavolo: Architecture in Motion is coming to Canada and will kick off its five-city tour in Calgary. Deb Matejicka has more on the diverse dance group from Los Angeles and their reaction to Alberta’s frigid temperatures – Jan 16, 2020

Alberta Ballet’s latest offering is expected to bring the heat to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium this week.

That’s if the California-based dance troupe Diavolo can thaw out first.

“It is actually the coldest place I’ve been,” said Diavolo founder and artistic director, Jacques Heim, admitting he almost got back on the plane when the group landed in Calgary a couple of days ago.

“For a quick moment, I just turn around and I go, ‘Holy sh*t folks, what is happening?'” Heim joked, adding he believes that eventually, “you can get used to it a little bit.”

This is the first time Heim and his dance company will tour the Great White North with Calgary the being the first stop.

“Usually, with a company, you’ll get just circus or you’ll get just dance stuff or you’ll get whatever the genre is,” said dancer Matt Wagner.

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“Whereas with this one (Diavolo), you get a little bit of acrobatics, you get a little of aerial stuff, you get a bit of a kind of circus feel to it, you get the gymnastics, you get the dance, you get parkour — take your pick, whatever, you get it.”

Diavolo is the result of Heim’s theatre, film and dance background. His passion for architecture is just one of the twists added to the production that audiences won’t see elsewhere.

“I decided to mix all the love: love for architecture, love for movement and love to humans,” Heim explained. “I love working with humans, I love to push humans beyond their own physical, emotional limits so they could discover who they are.”

“His ability to just get to your rawness… your essence of being, and bringing that out onto the stage is something that I’ve never really worked with before,” dancer Kelsey Long said of working with Heim, who is the creative mastermind behind all productions but leaves the choreography to his diverse cast of dancers.

“Like children in a playground, I tell my dancers, ‘OK, now go play. Go explore what that structure is telling you, what you feel,” said Heim.

“Whoever we end up hiring brings a little bit of their backgrounds,” Wagner said. “Like myself, I grew up as a gymnast… (Kelsey) does ballet a lot, we have hip-hop dancers, we have people that do colour guard and cheer — take your pick.”

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Diavolo has its longest run in Calgary with four shows. It will then pack up and head north to Edmonton, then over to Regina and Saskatoon and finally over to Winnipeg where it is likely to be just as cold as it is in Calgary these days.

“We don’t believe in obstacles, we believe in how you deal with obstacles, together as a group, as a unit,” Heim said of having to deal with even more cold conditions throughout the tour.

“So we open the door and we attack it, we embrace it.”



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