Johnson County Community College
Press Release

College Information and Publications
Julie Haas, associate vice president, marketing communications, ext. 3120
Diane Carroll, writer/editor/media relations, ext. 3425
Tyler Cundith, sports information director, ext. 3122

Diavolo dance company


Diavolo dance company

Acrobatic dance company explores themes of human struggle

Transit Space - Photo by Michael Misciagno

Transit Space
Photo: Michael Misciagno

Trajectorie - photo by Kristie Kahns

Photo: Kristie Kahns

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Diavolo will bring its crash and burn choreography to Johnson County Community College's Yardley Hall for two evenings in April.

The modern acrobatic dance company, led by artistic director Jacques Heim, will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 25, and again at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. Each evening will include two works, "Transit Space" and "Trajectoire."

Tickets will be $40 and $30 and half price for those under 18. They are available through the college box office at 913-469-4445 or online at

Fourteen dancers, gymnasts, acrobats and athletes will leap, fly and spin with power and modern elegance. The outrageous sets will incorporate skate ramps, half-pipes and other large structures. Following the performance, a member of the company will lead a post-show Talk Back.

Heim founded the company in 1992 and Diavolo has performed for hundreds of thousands of concertgoers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

"What we do on stage is like a live abstract painting," Heim states. "There is no narrative but strong themes pervade the work such as human struggle, fear, danger, survival, chaos, order, deconstruction, reconstruction, destiny, destination, faith and love."

Diavolo uses abstract and recognized structures to explore the relationship between the danger of our environment and the fragility of the human body. It is a fusion of many different movement vocabularies such as everyday movement, ballet, contemporary acrobatics, gymnastics, martial arts and hip-hop.

As modern society becomes more complex with new technologies and marvelous possibilities, Heim says, the everyday act of survival becomes increasingly fraught with danger and anxiety.

"My work investigates the latent absurdities of contemporary human life and seeks to recontexualize those absurdities through the body, exploring the influences of the environment, possessions and relationships."

Heim was born and raised in Paris. His earliest experiences with performance came from street performing. He attended Middlebury College, earning a bachelor of fine arts in theater, dance and film; the University of Surrey in England, earning a certificate for analysis and criticism of dance, and the California Institute for the Arts, where he earned a master of fine arts in choreography.