Samford University’s Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center begins its inaugural Signature Series by presenting the Diavolo Dance Theatre Oct 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Diavolo Dance Theatre, led by Artistic Director Jacques Heim, is a Los-Angeles based dance troupe that specializes in creating “breathtaking works utilizing oversized architectural pieces,” according to Sean Wright, Wright Fine Arts Center director. Their unique style incorporates ballet, modern dance, hip-hop, martial arts, acrobatics, tumbling and stunt work for an end result that “must be experienced to be believed.”
For their Birmingham performance, Diavolo will perform “Transit Space,” a new piece inspired by the movement of skateboarding and the documentary film “Dogtown and Z-Boys.” The work had its world premiere this year at Pennsylvania State University and is supported with funding by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP).
Heim is a highly-decorated choreographer, best known as the choreographer for Cirque Du Soleil’s KA in Las Vegas. His work has appeared on BBC America’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and Bravo’s “Step Up and Dance.” He received the Martha Hill Choreography Award of the American Dance Festival, a Brody Arts Fund Fellowship and the 2010 American Masterpieces grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Since founding Diavolo in 1992, Heim has focused on becoming what he calls “an architect of motion.” According to Heim, Diavolo “tr[ies] to convey an appreciation for movement by breaking down barriers to dance via a vocabulary based on everyday activities. Architectural structures or sculpted adaptations of everyday items – sofas, doors, stairs – provide the backdrop for dramatic and risky movement, revealing metaphors for the challenge of maintaining human relationships in modern environments.”
Immediately prior to the performance, the Wright Center will host a free season kick-off party. This outdoor event is open to the public and will feature food and drink as well as several “Bounce Houses” so that attendees will get the chance to fly through the air, just like the members of Diavolo will on stage later that evening, Wright explained.
Tickets for Diavolo are $20-$35 and $10 for students. Signature Series package and season tickets still are available, starting at just $150. Tickets are available online at tickets.samford.edu or by calling the Samford Arts box office at (205)726-2853. Regular box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Wright Center Signature Series is made possible through the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, South Arts and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. More information on the Signature Series, including upcoming performances with Savion Glover, Bela Fleck and more, as well as all other events held at the Wright Center can be found online at www.samford.edu/wrightcenter.