Athletic, expressive, and quite capable of participating in the miracle of human flight without the help of wires or a small airplane, Doug Varone and Dancers makes its third appearance in San Francisco this weekend. Chapters from a Broken Novel (a co-commission from San Francisco Performances) recently debuted in New York, drawing on the company’s vision and energy for what the Village Voice calls “a rich, ragged piece seething with the kinds of forces that confound us.”

Eight dancers move through the twenty small pieces that form the whole, set to music by experimental composer David Van Tieghem. Each section is inspired by quotes from movies, literature, or bits of overheard conversation, weaving together to form a raw and dynamic whole. “You feel as if you’ve lived through something as intense, as flawed, as messy, as gripping, as touched with beauty, and as worthy of love as any old day,” says Village Voice. You could even call it a physical window to human nature.

May 21-22. Novellus Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard Street. Tickets are $30-50 at 415-392-2545 or