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Diavolo looks at skateboarding for dance inspiration

(Susan Josephs, Culture Monster, Los Angeles Times) Jacques Heim doesn’t mind that his dancers call him Napoleon. “Yes, that’s my nickname,” he says with a chuckle. “But the reason I push my dancers so hard is that I believe in them more than they believe in themselves. I will push them farther than what they think their limit is.”

Heim’s intense and rigorous rehearsal methods have definitely paid off for Diavolo, the choreographer’s almost 20-year-old Los Angeles-based company that has over a dozen works in its current repertoire, travels all over the world and has earned Heim prestigious commissions, such as his choreography for the Cirque du Soleil show “Ka.”

And now Los Angeles audiences will have an opportunity to view the nuts and bolts of Heim’s choreographic process during a first time artist-in-residency program starting Nov. 12 at the Music Center, where Diavolo members will inhabit the venue’s outdoor plaza to rehearse their latest work “Transit Space.” They”ll also be working along with some young skateboarders.