Diavolo's 'Transit Spaces' Merges Skateboarding, Dance

Oct 11, 2013

Diavolo Dance Theater is performing this weekend at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay. The company is also holding auditions. And to give you a sense of what kind of performance you can expect from Diavolo, here’s a list of skills they’re looking for in prospective dancers:

  • Must know modern and ballet  
  • Acrobatics and gymnastics                                                                                                              
  • Improvisation and choreography
  • Acting
  • Rock climbing background doesn’t hurt

Diavolo dancer Chisa Yamaguchi describes the company’s work as a fusion of dance and architecture, but what the L.A.-based dance troupe is really known for is its acrobatic choreography executed on large, moving props. For example, in the piece Transit Space (which Diavolo is performing this weekend) dancers perform on large, moveable skateboard ramps.

“We’re doing everything minus the board,” explained Yamaguchi. “So, our bodies become the board in a sense.”

Dancers skid and flip on the ramps, sometimes holding break dance-like poses at the top to mimic a skateboarding move called a stall.

Diavolo is also performing a work called Fluid Infinites, which is set on an abstract dome structure.

Diavolo is the first in a series of well-known contemporary dance companies coming to the SMDCC this season. Complexions Contemporary Ballet is coming in February and the Trey McIntyre Project in April. The SMDCC’s Eric Fliss (the guy who picks what companies perform at the art center) said contemporary dance has been an unfilled niche in South Florida’s dance scene.

“Our goal is not to compete with existing resources, it’s to fill the gap,” said Fliss. “We do have some great modern and contemporary dance companies working in Miami, but on the scale of Miami City Ballet, we do not have a company of that scale.”

Diavolo promises to entertain both the contemporary dance aficionado as well as their drag-along date. 

Performances are Sat. Oct. 12 at 8 PM and Sunday Oct. 13 at 3 PM.