Artist Q&A: Connor Sennig of DIAVOLO

ArtistQ&A ArtsAlive
DIAVOLO is embarking on its 25th Anniversary Tour this fall to share performances from L.O.S.T. This will be the second visit by the movement group to the Fox Cities and you may have seen them appear on America’s Got Talent this summer. Assistant Rehearsal Director and performer Connor Senning took a few minutes to talk about what audiences can expect from this unique performance
Tell us how you got involved in DIAVOLO.
I was actually recruited by another current touring company member, Ana Brotons. We both were students at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She joined the company a year before me, and when they were looking for more men she gave me a call to audition in Chicago. I have always been involved in acrobatic work and modern dance, so this seemed to be a perfect fit for me.
How many people perform as part of this touring group?
Currently we have 12 company members. Ten of them are meant to be performers and two are meant to be swings. With the amount of rehearsals and touring we do, we all are actually full time performers with the company. We also have other dancers who are not fulltime that come in for certain projects depending on the amount of work the actual touring company has going on at the time.
The group is defined as Architecture in Motion. What does that mean to you?
It is all about the relation between architecture and the human environment. How we deal with these large structures on stage and how we portray what is going on emotionally, physically, and mentally. We deal with themes such as human struggle, human condition, construction, deconstruction, pain, fear, and love to name a few. The list goes on and on. The work of DIAVOLO you will hear is “visceral.” We do not rely on the structure to hold up the piece, but use it as another dancer on stage with us.
So much of the art you create on stage requires teamwork and trust. How do those traits come into play while you are performing?
We live and breathe the word trust. We know it, we believe in it, and teach it all over the world. In all of our pieces at the core is trust. From day one of being in DIAVOLO, you are required to trust in the group. Teamwork and trust all come into play when you see our work, and believe me you will not miss it. It’s all about pushing one another to get through these strenuous 30-40 minute pieces of work, and coming through a show with everyone feeling that they had each other’s back from the moment it began until the curtain goes down. The work does not stop there though, the DIAVOLO work is never truly done.
What can patrons expect to see when they attend your performance?
They can expect to see an evening of something they may not be able to imagine. There is no real way to describe the work of DIAVOLO. Jacques has taken all of these themes and structures that every human being can relate to one way or another and turned them into larger than life works of art. Everyone who sees the work is always affected whether it is good or bad. It will make you think, as well as leap from your chair at times.
The group has been to the Fox Cities before. Why are you excited to return?
I personally have not been to Appleton yet, but I can tell you returning to cities we have toured in before is always a great time. You get to experience a city again that you do not have roots in, but at one point in your life as an artist, you left a piece of you there.
DIAVOLO takes the stage Friday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are on sale now.
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