Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Diavolo rolls into the ATL this Friday

Posted By on Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 1:28 PM


Think Martha Graham meets Cirque du Soleil, and you've got something of the idea behind the popular LA-based dance troupe Diavolo which arrives in town this Friday. The company is primarily known for its athletic stunt-based staging and enormous props: a two ton aluminum wheel and a 17-foot rocking see-saw are among its signature set-pieces. Audiences can't get enough, but critics (what else is new) have been typically less than kind. “Long on novelty and short on depth,” shrieked The New York Times a few years back. And the troupe has also faced criticism from another direction entirely: from dancers themselves, some of whom have argued that lugging props and performing stunts in the new Diavolo-style acrobatic troupes leads to injury and interferes with the development of other skills like elegance and grace dancers need for other work later in their careers.

In spite of all this, the Diavolo train keeps rolling on. At its best, the troupe's sense of invention and wit can prove irresistible, even to the crankiest and most curmudgeonly of critics. Modern dance, athleticism, humor, and prop-based performance may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's a tasty mixture nonetheless. You can decide for yourself which camp you fall into—fan or curmudgeon—on Friday night when the troupe will do their stuff at Georgia Tech's Ferst Center for the Arts.

Or... if you prefer risking your own safety to watching others risk theirs, you might consider auditioning for the company. Diavolo will be hosting auditions while it stops in Atlanta on Friday morning at Dance 411 Studios on Moreland Avenue. The call sheet says you must not be afraid of heights. Natch. May I recommend a strong and legally-binding will, too?

Diavolo performs at Georgia Tech's Ferst Center for the Arts on Friday, October 15, at 8 pm. The troupe will also hold audtions on Friday morning. For more information, visit Diavolo.

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