When choreographer Jacques Heim first heard that Cirque du Soleil was interested in working with him he thought it was a mistake. Although he had admired every Cirque show he had seen, and he had seen almost all of them, he never thought Cirque and his own dance company would be a good fit—until KÀ came along.
Heim was born in Paris but moved to New York as a young man, and studied as a theatre major at Middlebury College , Vermont . Upon graduation he moved to England, where he studied dance, then came back to the United States where he founded the acclaimed Los Angeles dance company Diavolo.
For Heim, the link between Diavolo and KÀ lay in the process. "It's the same," he says, pointing out that, just like the cast of KÀ, Diavolo's dancers work with enormous architectural structures and props in constant motion. "I work with acrobats and different types of movers and dancers. We don't do circus but we do deal very much with structures and architectural environments. I'm not used to Cirque, but I am used to this kind of process."
To create the show's choreography Heim had to blend dance with martial arts, acrobatics, puppets and projections—and he says that took some getting used to. "All those different languages and layers had to be mixed and put together. It wasn't easy, but I knew it was going to be possible because we had Robert Lepage as our director, and with his vision, somehow we would be able to put it together."