Jacques Heim was born and raised in Paris, where his earliest artistic experience 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. in Choreography). Not strictly a dancer or acrobat, Heim calls himself an “architect of motion.” He is rather like a drill sergeant or a football coach who loves pushing dancers beyond their own physical and emotional limits to make them feel that they can conquer anything, to make them realize that they are heroes.
Heim is named after his grandfather, the late and revolutionary fashion designer who, in 1946, launched the first ever two piece bathing suit called Atome, later renamed The Bikini, and also invented le pret a porter, or Ready to Wear. Just as his grandfather broke ground in the fashion industry, Heim challenges and break the mold of conventional wisdom surrounding dance, developing the unique and incomparable aesthetic of Architecture in Motion®.
In addition to founding DIAVOLO and serving as its Artistic Director, Heim has worked extensively in dance, theater, television and special events throughout the world. In 2017, he created five new performances based on DIAVOLO creations for NBC’s America’s Got Talent, which resulted in the Company becoming one of the top ten contestants in AGT’s finale at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater. Heim recently directed DIAVOLO’s special appearance on Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde’s New Year’s Eve 2017, one of the most watched TV shows in France. DIAVOLO also appeared on Helene Fischer’s 2017 Christmas Spectacular, where the German superstar sang while rigged atop one of the Company’s massive structures.
In 2004, Heim choreographed KÀ for Cirque du Soleil at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, a destination show featuring apparatus inspired by DIAVOLO structures. In 2010, he was invited to be a Creative Director for the Opening Ceremony of the 16th Asian Games, in Guangzhou, China. Mr. Heim also worked with Guy Caron and Michael Curry as a consulting choreographer on Ice Age Live!, a “mammoth” arena show which made its world premiere at London’s Wembley Stadium in November 2012 and is now touring throughout Europe.
Heim has received three USA Fellowship nominations and four Alpert Award nominations. He has also been the recipient of 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; a James Irvine Foundation Fellowship; and he is the 2016 Barney Creative Prize recipient.
THIS IS ME: Letter from the Front lines is a film about celebrating Warriors. During these times, we are fighting a war against this invisible enemy, with medical personnel and medicine.
I wanted to shift the perspective of what could be perceived, by putting our Military Veterans and First Responders in pedestrian attire because, in a way, they are just regular amazing humans, like you and I. We put France and our dancers, who represent civilians, in Military-inspired clothing to represent that actually we, as civilians, are Warriors at this time. We are civilians who lost the lives of our family members, lovers, friends, we lost our jobs, and lost our way of life as we know it. It feels like we are, in a way, Warriors on the front lines, trying to figure out how to get our life back.