I was diagnosed with PTSD when I returned from Iraq, and there was a moment early on in rehearsal with DIAVOLO when I realized it was the first time I have truly felt at peace since returning from war, and I’ve been back a decade.
The same discipline is there, but the creative freedom is something we have in DIAVOLO that we didn’t have in the military.
I’m so glad (and proud) I got to experience and be a part of something this human, emotional and important here in Los Angeles, a place that does challenge our ability sometimes to connect...Diavolo has planted an important flag in the cultural and community landscape!
Brilliantly realized Thursday at Hollywood American Legion Post 43 (with a repeat scheduled on Saturday), it was tight, deft and intense like all the classic Diavolo creations but with a new and disarming intimacy. Using a network of metal poles atop a central platform, it developed into a breakneck showpiece deepened by the stories of the people performing it.
Told midway through, those stories are sometimes what you’d expect from any dancer—insights about exceeding expectations, for example. But some are chilling reminders of what war does to young people. And a few of those will break your heart.
I wanted to express my profound appreciation for the work you set on the Veterans. I am a former USO dancer with Bob Hope, and I was moved to tears on how beautiful, respectful and impacting your work was on Thursday night. Congratulations on such a beautiful project; and thank you for inviting me to attend such a powerful evening of art.