Diavolo Dance Theatre
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Pre-concert lecture on both evenings at 7:15 p.m.
Where: Fine Arts Theatre in the Fine Arts Building, 255 Baldwin Street, Athens
Tickets: $42-$52 with discounts for UGA students and groups of 15 or more
More info: 706-542-4400, 888-289-8497 or website
ATHENS — The University of Georgia Performing Arts Center will open the 2010-2011 season, its 15th, with a presentation by the Diavolo Dance Theatre. A cutting-edge dance and movement company from California, Diavolo's performances Friday and Saturday will be the first in the restored Fine Arts Theatre.
Members of Diavolo also will be in residence on campus, offering master classes for UGA students and training select dance students to perform with the company.
Diavolo members are dancers, gymnasts, actors and athletes.
Under the guidance of artistic director Jacques Heim, the members collaboratively develop their performance pieces on a combination of oversized sets and everyday structures.
The structural elements and surrealistic set pieces of Diavolo create a sense of daring and risk-taking through dramatic movement that juxtaposes human fragility and survival.
Heim founded Diavolo in Los Angeles in 1992. Diavolo made its European debut in 1995 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it was named Best of the Fest by the London Independent and Critic's Choice by The Guardian.
In 1998 the company opened the performance series at the new Getty Center Museum in Los Angeles, and in 2004 the company was honored to perform live at the tenth annual American Choreography Awards.
Because of the unusual way Diavolo works with architectural structures, the creative team at Cirque du Soleil was inspired to hire Heim to choreograph a show in Las Vegas, titled Ka, which opened in 2005 and is still running.
In 2007 Diavolo was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to create a performance to music directorEsa-Pekka Salonen's Foreign Bodies. A second commission followed, based on John Adams' Fearful Symmetries, which received its world premiere at the Hollywood Bowl Sept 9.
The Diavolo performances are made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from South Arts, the Georgia Council for the Arts, grants from the UGA Parents & FamiliesAssociation, UGA Alumni Association and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.