CSUN Hosts First-Ever Residency for World-Renowned Diavolo Dance Company

Diavolo performing

DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion, performing “Fluid Infinites” in 2013. The Valley Performing Arts Center is partnering with Ford Signature Series to present L’Espace du Temps performed by Diavolo in September.

The world-renowned Diavolo, a Los Angeles-based dance company known for its unique “architecture in motion” style, will participate in CSUN’s first-ever residency program and campus “takeover” beginning, Aug. 31

Diavolo uses dance to explore the relationship between the human body and its architectural environment. The diverse team of dancers, designers, choreographers and engineers, create visceral and awe-inspiring works that reveal how individuals are affected emotionally, physically and socially by the spaces they inhabit.

“We’re so proud of our first major residency and the opening of our upcoming season at VPAC,” said Thor Steingraber, executive director of CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center. “This unprecedented collaboration is my statement to the campus that I value them and want them to be a part of VPAC.”

The dance company will participate in a three-part residency over six months. They will arrive on campus on Monday, Aug. 31, to host an audition for the Diavolo Master Class. Over five days, Diavolo will appear in a series of performances, interactive experiences, academic programs and pop-ups around campus, including performing in the Sierra Quad at 11 a.m. on Sept. 1 and 2.

“The dance program at CSUN is delighted to be included in this extraordinary event, the Diavolo campus takeover,” said Paula Thomson, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology. “The personnel at the VPAC have worked collaboratively with our department in the past and continue to do so now. We are so fortune that this experience is open to our students.”

The Valley Performing Arts Center is partnering with Ford Signature Series to present L’Espace du Temps performed by DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion, choreographed by the company, under the direction of Diavolo Artistic Director Jacques Heim on Saturday, Sept. 19, and Sunday, Sept. 20. Now in its third year, the Ford Signature Series pairs Los Angeles County artists with world-renowned performers in one-of-a-kind presentations.

Diavolo performed L’Espace du Temps in summer 2014 at the Movimentos Festival in Wolfsburg, Germany. The performance at VPAC will be the first time that the trilogy will be performed in the United States and with live orchestral accompaniment. Works by Philip Glass, John Adams and Esa-Pekka Salonen will be performed by the New West Symphony and conducted by Los Angeles conductor Christopher Rountree. He is the director of Wild Up, Los Angeles’ modern music collective.

L’Espace du Temps began as three individual pieces commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the Hollywood Bowl: Foreign Bodies (2007), set to the music of Salonen; Fearful Symmetries (2010), set to the music of Adams, and Fluid Infinities (2013), set to the music of Glass’ Symphony No. 3.

This American premiere of the full-length version is made possible by a re-orchestration of Salonen’s score, scaled to fit the ensemble in VPAC’s orchestra pit and to use instrumentalists who play in the other two pieces. Rountree, who is also a composer, will oversee the scaling down, with Salonen’s approval. Rountree and Wild Up have performed at Green Umbrella, the LA Phil’s contemporary music series founded by Salonen.

“We are really excited about this collaboration,” said Jacques Heim, founder and choreographer for Diavolo, whose first encounter with CSUN was more than a decade ago — when students took classes at a studio he once owned in Northridge. “I was really impressed with the students then, and I’ve seen the university grow.”

“The VPAC is really an amazing, world-class theater,” Heim said. “What the university is doing, Thor’s vision of introducing the arts to the university through the takeover, is really wonderful.”

For more information about Diavolo’s scheduled performances at CSUN, contact Terence McFarland at (818) 677-8830. For ticket information, visit the Valley Performing Arts Center or call (818) 677-3000.