Herman Diephuis was born in 1962 in Amsterdam.
He spent several years working as a performer with choreographers such as Régine Chopinot, Mathilde Monnier, Jean-François Duroure, Philippe Decouflé, François Verret, Jérôme Bel, Xavier Le Roy and Alain Buffard.
In 2002, he choreographed La C et la F de la F as part of the dance event “Les Fables à la Fontaine”.
In 2004, he founded his own company in order to create a platform for his shows and projects: D’après J.-C. (duo-2004), Dalila et Samson, par exemple (duo-2005), Julie, entre autres (sextet-2007), Paul est mort? (trio-2008) and Ciao Bella (quintet-2009), All of me and Let it be me (solos-2012 & 2013, Objet principal du voyage (quatuor-2012) and Let it be all of me, at last (duo-2013). Concurrently, Herman Diephuis develops projects involving amateurs and devises onsite activities for museums like Impressions in May 2013
My work draws inspiration from the images that are embedded in our cultural heritage and collective imagination. I am especially interested in the representation of the body, i.e. its presence, gestures and postures, and in the construction of the body-image as a prism for grasping the concerns underlying our human condition.
Early art, in particular Renaissance and Baroque painting, has fueled a number of my shows, such as D’après J.-C., Dalila et Samson, par exemple, as well as Ciao Bella to some extent.
In D’après J.-C., the postures of Christ and the Virgin in Renaissance painting were recreated onstage. The dancers enacted the paintings' codified gestures and expressions in a flipbook-like sequence, thus giving motion to the static poses. This enabled the audience to diverge from the traditional view of the bible, and prompted a more lifelike reading: the relationship between a mother and her son from birth to death.
In Julie, entre autres, Paul est mort? and Ciao Bella, I delved into popular culture and interwove different types of visual and musical devices, such as film, pop music, photography…
My aim is to confront the audience’s experience of these images with my own outlook. I wish to dismantle rigid stereotypes and to play with reading codes.
The performer’s input is pivotal in my projects. The performers each embark on a solitary journey into the visual material, absorbing and assimilating it until they are ready to embody it onstage. We work together on details and precision in order to merge with the reference and transcend imitation, without ever diminishing the freedom of interpretation.
Having so far grappled with images as a springboard for my projects, I now wish to invert the process, i.e. to begin by exploring a powerful physical/emotional state, and from there to come up with possible correlations.
The backbone of my work continues to be the interplay of opposites: humor and seriousness, sacredness and demystification, certainty and doubt, restraint and excess, tension and abandon, movement and suspension. I strive to give these notions bodily form.
The visible unleashes the imaginable.