Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Presents Berlin's LEO, Now thru 6/30


Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival presents LEO, a fantastical one-man-show from Berlin, today, June 26-30 in the Doris Duke Theatre.

LEO employs captivating choreography, video, and animation, challenging the audience's senses and testing their perceptions. Directed by the Montréal-based actor and director Daniel Briére and formulated around an original concept by the performer Tobias Wegner, LEO has won several major awards including the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, the Three Weeks Editors Award, and the Scotsman Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and most recently the John Chataway Award for Innovation at the 2013 Adelaide Fringe Festival.

In response to performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Keith D. Edinburgh of Edinburgh Spotlight proclaimed: "LEO is a spellbinding and inventive piece of physical theatre. The concept is simple - yet remarkably effective ... a fluid and beautiful work of theatre which makes you - like LEO himself - begin to think walking up a wall is the most natural and effortless thing in the world."

Set to a soundtrack ranging from Ravi Shankar, Slayer, and Frank Sinatra to Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, LEO portrays the unusual journey of an otherwise ordinary man whose world becomes physically unhinged. Limited to a specific area of the stage, the performer explores the ever-changing nature of the space he inhabits with what Claudia La Rocco of The New York Times describes as "gravity-defying movement." Through several dramatic turns, the character embarks on a quest for the freedom that lies just outside of his confines.

Actor, stage director, and playwright Daniel Brière is Artistic Director of the Montrèal-based Nouvelle Theatre Experimental (NTE), where he has been performing and creating new plays since 2003. As an actor, he has performed in many theatres in Canada and Europe since his graduation from the Conservatoire. On television, he was seen in Caméra Café and the popular family comedy on CBC, Les Parent. On the big screen, his performances have included parts in Le déclin de l'empire américain, La moitié gauche du frigo, Gaz Bar Blues, and C'est pas moi, je le jure!, presented in several film festivals. Brière has directed some 20 plays including Bashir Lazhar and La Fin.

Tobias Wegner completed his acrobatic training at the Belgium University of Contemporary Circus Arts (E.S.A.C.) in Brussels. His professional career has taken him to, among other places, Brazil, Spain, and India. He has also performed at the Southbank Centre (London), the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale (Paris), the Schauspiel Frankfurt, and the Staatsoperunter den Linden (Berlin). Tobias won the European competition Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe with the project AIUAIO and his own company of the same name.

Tickets are $22-$38. Under 35 Friday Tickets are available for $19 on Friday, June 28 (ages 18-35), two per person, must show I.D. when picking up tickets. $10 Youth Tickets, sponsored by ALEX, are available for Saturday, June 29 at 8:15pm and Sunday, June 30 at 2:15pm (must be accompanied by an adult ticket).