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Working with a variety of performers has given me the opportunity to come across contrasting aesthetic tastes and diverse audiences, which has enrichened and honed my outlook. These multiple experiences have made me what I am artistically and have resulted in me having an approach that is both conceptual and sensitive as well as being unbiased.

Through my choreographic language, images taken from our cultural heritage, our collective memory and the imagination are an essential source of inspiration. These images motivate and inspire me to create movement, presence, dance, narrative and a quest for meaning. Classical painting and more precisely, Renaissance, Baroque and XIXth century painting served as a starting point and common thread for the creation of D'après J.-C., Dalila et Samson, par exemple and Impressions but also partly Ciao bella, Executions and Objet Principal du Voyage.

In Julie, entre autres, Paul est mort ?, Ciao bella, Let it be all of me, at last, Bang !, CLAN, preMIX, MIX and Tremor and more I have drawn my inspiration from popular culture and have mixed different visual and musical material, like cinema, pop music, photography....

What interests me about dance is how each person’s personal history can be read in their body and thereby gets recorded into the collective memory. It seems to me that everyone has something to tell through their bodies and that physical narrative can be as strong and important in a professional dancer as in an amateur dancer.

I have developed a style within a specific context without ever imposing a uniform way of dancing. The performers with whom I collaborate come from very different artistic backgrounds. I deal with their unique way of moving and expressing themselves. Technicality and virtuosity can attract me but what I am looking for is for dance to always be linked to a thought, an emotion and a state without protection or artifice.

My artistic approach is often linked to the relation to the image and the outlook that I have on visual art (painting, photography, advertising, architecture, cinema, sculpture...). What always interests me is the way in which the human body is represented, its presence and postures and how, through the construction of body image, one can read man’s preoccupations faced with the human condition. The recurrent theme in my work is the play of opposites: humour vs sobriety, the sacred vs the profane, certitude vs doubt, restraint vs extravagance, tension vs abandonment, movement vs suspension and giving you all these notions in the flesh. Music occupies a prominent place in the construction of my performances, choices are eclectic, a mixture of classical music, pop, rock, jazz and contemporary but a necessary part of choreographic creation.

What I am looking for is a confrontation between the audience’s experience and my perception of the representation of the human body in order to question stereotypes and play with pre-established codes.

Herman Diephuis 

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