DIAVOLO’s “Existencia” makes its world premier at The Soraya

An exciting new dance work captures the impact that the Northridge Earthquake had on the San Fernando Valley, three decades ago. The modern ballet will be performed by Diavolo, one of Los Angeles’ most long-standing and admired performance troupes. 

Above photo credit: Melissa Taylor.

Existencia is intended to be an exploration of human resilience in the face of disaster, using dance, acrobatics, music, and stage spectacle to share emotional themes underpinned by an uplifting story. Much like the journey of the CSUN campus and its surrounding communities, the loss and trauma of disaster turns to the important task of rebuilding, and in doing so, emerging stronger and better.

Soraya Executive and Artistic Director Thor Steingraber envisaged a dance company as a cathartic vehicle capable of embodying the immense human vulnerability of a natural disaster of that scale. He tasked Los Angeles choreographer Jacques Heim, the founder and creative director of Diavolo (which was based in Northridge at the time of the quake), the popular gravity-defying dance troupe, with an evening-length multimedia work. Heim’s brief was to use Northridge quake as a metaphor for our need for human interconnectivity.

By Debra Levine.
From the press release:

With performances set for January 17 & 19, 2024, Diavolo and The Soraya present the world premiere of Existencia, a new work to commemorate the 30 years since the 1994 Northridge Earthquake struck California State University Northridge (CSUN) — an event which was said to have been the worst natural disaster ever to hit a university campus in the United States.

Antonio Sánchez and Thana Alexa.

Produced and commissioned by The Soraya, Existencia was conceived on behalf of the earthquake anniversary and features the cast of DIAVOLO, backed by an original musical score and live stage performance by a renowned jazz duo, GRAMMY© Award-winning jazz drummer Antonio Sánchez and his wife, GRAMMY© Award nominee vocalist Thana Alexa. Rounding out the troupe will be aerial work choreographed by the vertical dance company BANDALOOP, performed by its founder Amelia Rudolph.

For a limited time, you can save 15% off your ticket purchase! Select “Buy Tickets” to activate. Although The Soraya is currently closed for the holidays, online ticket purchases are still available.


The Soraya – 18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330
For tickets, call (818) 677-3000 or visit The Soraya.


Wednesday January 17 at 8PM

Friday January 19, 2024 at 8PM

Ticket prices: $39-$129.00

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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