CREATIVE TEAM

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Jennifer Cheng - Executive Director

Jennifer Cheng was professionally trained in ballet. She received her advanced certification from the Royal Academy of Dance. She was also a recipient of a Ford Foundation scholarship to the School of American Ballet. Jennifer received her B.A. at Pomona College, M.B.A. at UC Irvine and J.D. at UC Davis. She was a corporate attorney with the Automobile Club of Southern California for over 20 years. Jennifer is the Executive Director of the Dance Conservatory of Pasadena which she founded in 2010.  She serves on the board of directors at the  Huntington Library and Gardens, and is a founder at the Kaufman School of Dance at USC. 

 

 

 

Jacques Heim - Artistic Director

Jacques Heim (DIAVOLO Artistic Director) has been a transformative choreographer for over 20 years. He founded Diavolo in 1992 and has directed the Company’s work 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. Most recently Jacques worked with Guy Caron and Michael Curry as consulting choreographer on Ice Age Live!, a “mammoth” arena show which had its world premiere at London’s Wembley Stadium in November 2012 and is now touring Europe. For Cirque du Soleil, Jacques choreographed  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. In 2005, Jacques was the Artistic Director for the Taurus Stunt Awards and returned in 2007 to stage a movement/stunt piece, “The Car”. With Center Theater Group, Jacques created choreography for the stage play, The Stones. On television, his work has appeared on BBC America’s Dancing with the Stars and Bravo’s Step Up and Dance.

Jacques taught movement and dance for many years at Ballet Pacifica, Cal State LA and UCLA. In addition to three USA Fellowship nominations and four Alpert Award nominations, Jacques has received the Martha Hill Choreography Award of the American Dance Festival, the Special Prize of the Jury at the 6th Saitama International Dance Festival, a Brody Arts Fund fellowship, and a James Irvine Foundation Fellowship.

 
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Dusty Alvarado - Project Director

A Houston Native, Dusty Alvarado grew up as a competitive gymnast, actor, and dancer. He received his BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and worked in NYC as a professional dancer immediately following his graduation. Upon graduation, Dusty joined an Israeli dance troupe, The Aluminum Show, and toured the world during his early twenties. Searching for a greater challenge, Dusty joined DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion as a company dancer. He was involved in three creations, including Fluid Infinities, which premiered at the Hollywood Bowl in September 2013.

Dusty has since then transitioned into the role of Institute Director, passionately working to expand the educational and outreach programming of DIAVOLO to the community of LA and beyond. 

 

Stephan Koplowitz- Veterans Project Co-Director, Phase 1

Stephan is an award winning director/choreographer/media artist known for his work on stage, film and site. Since 1984 he has created 87 works and has been awarded 60 commissions performed in the US, Europe and Asia. He is the recipient of an Alpert Award in the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Bessie Award for “Sustained Achievement” in Choreography and six NEA Choreography Fellowships from (1988-97). Recent works include commissions from the Bates Dance Festival, La Mama Umbria International, The Ohio State University, Trolley Dances, San Diego. In July 2017, he will premiere with Axis Dance Company (Oakland/SF) a work for the Yerba Buena Gardens with composer Pamela Z and in August, a multi-media site based performance work for over 50 performers in an historic mill factory will premiere as part of the Bates Dance Festival’s 35th anniversary. After living in New York City for 23 years, Koplowitz, in 2006, was appointed dean and faculty of Dance at CalArts and served in that capacity for ten years until 2016.  Koplowitz received a BA in Music Composition from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Choreography from the University of Utah, both institutions have named him as a Distinguished Alumni. To see examples of his site-specific and media works, visit:  www.youtube.com/c/StephanKoplowitz

 

Daniel Wheeler - Set Design and Construction

Daniel Wheeler is an award-winning internationally recognized and exhibited artist creating in diverse media, varied scale, and a range of contexts from private to public. After receiving his BA from Brown University in 1984, he lived in Japan before settling in Los Angeles in 1986. With 25 years of experience in making highly crafted, interactive and thematically sensitive objects and environments, he is at once a sculptor, set designer, furniture maker, construction supervisor, fabricator, photographer, teacher, husband, and father. He brings a kaleidoscope of skills, vision and thought processes to every project.

 

Robert Allaire- Composer

Robert is a Los Angeles-based composer whose work at the intersection of music and sound design has garnered accolades from LA Weekly and The New York Times. His style fuses dark electronics, contemporary experimental techniques, and bold orchestral writing into a unique voice which has been heard in films, video games, and over 600 episodes of television.

Robert’s egalitarian approach to a diverse range of musical styles has led to wide variety in his film work. He provided an intimate, romantic orchestral score for Dennis Hauck’s bold debut feature Too Late, a metal-infused noise score featuring the sound of razor blades on guitar strings for Adam Egypt Mortimer’s feminist slasher Some Kind of Hate, and a glitchy electronic score for the Sony video game Kill Strain. Other recent projects include segments of the anthology film Holidays with directors Scott Stewart and Adam Egypt Mortimer, as well as the healthcare documentary Special Blood directed by Natalie Metzger and co-written by Allaire.

Robert is also a lover of experimental film and collaborated with filmmaker Betzy Bromberg on her hypnotic And the Night Illuminated the Night, which the New York Times described as “wonderfully scored” and selected as one of their best films of 2011. They have since reunited to work on her new 16mm meditation, Glide of Transparency, which will premiere in late 2016.

 

Nick Davidson- Lighting Designer

A Michigan native, Nick Davidson earned his BFA from Western Michigan University and went on to earn his MFA in lighting design from California State University Long Beach. While in graduate school, he had the pleasure of designing a number of world premiere productions, including “B.S.: Bukowski.Sondheim” with the California Repertory Company. Nick first joined DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion as Associate Lighting Designer for “Fluid Infinities,” which premiered at the Hollywood Bowl in September, 2013. Recent notable works have included lighting design for “Prayers & Dances” for the L.A. Choral Lab and museum lighting design for the newly remodeled Richard Nixon Presidential Library. He has worked extensively with opera, dance, and theatre companies around the world including the Central City Opera Festival, the English National Opera, and the Rome Opera. Currently, Nick is a lighting designer for Thinkwell Group, a global design and production agency based here in Los Angeles.

 

Ana Brotons -Veterans Project Rehearsal Director

Ana Carolina Brotons was born in Miami, FL and started dancing at the age of three. She attended Dance Magnet programs in middle, and high school, as was an all-star cheerleader with the world renowned TopGun All-Stars. After training ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and salsa intensively at school and with New Image Dance Company, Ms. Brotons was awarded a scholarship to attend The University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, PA where she received a BFA in Modern Dance Performance. Since graduating in 2012, Ana has performed in music videos such as Taylor Bright and Jill Scott, and has done two national tours with the show SuperWHY Live. Ms. Brotons is currently entering her third season with DIAVOLO and is excited to continue to expand her horizons as a dancer, performer, and artist.

 
 

Headshot photography by Leandro Damasco, Jr.