The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York's premiere French cultural center, will present the captivating and funny nouveau cirque production Leo at Florence Gould Hall tonight, February 9.
French acrobat William Bonnet makes his U.S. debut in this mind-bending one-man show, created by Tobias Wegner in cooperation with the innovative Circle of Eleven company and directed by Montréal director Daniel Brière. After winning multiple awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Leo has dazzled critics and audiences worldwide with its deft interplay of acrobatic theater and innovative video design. Suitable for all ages, this clever, wordless comedy is presented as part of FIAF's Family Saturdays.
Trapped inside a room where the laws of gravity are skewed, a man embarks on a fantastical adventure. With the help of music, a piece of chalk, and a few special effects, the man inhabits his own magical world that tests our perceptions of reality. The action takes place in a striking set that integrates continuous live video projections to create an intriguing, poetic, and sometimes surreal work.
For more information on FIAF's Family Saturdays, visit fiaf.org/family.
Born in Avignon, France, William Bonnet began his career in circus with the French company Couleurs Mécaniques. After touring Europe with the company for six months, he attended the École de Cirque de Lomme near Lille, where he specialized in aerial acrobatics on aerial straps. At the National Circus School in Montréal, Canada, he added various disciplines to his artistic repertoire, including hand-on-hand acrobatics, hip hop dance, floor acrobatics, and clown performance. William is a true all-rounder whose skills were showcased at the Festival Mondial de Cirque de Demain in Paris and Montréal, and at Project Fibonacci of the Canadian Circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main, among others.
About Daniel Brière: Actor, stage director, and playwright Daniel Brière is Artistic Director of the NTE (Nouvelle Theatre Experimental), where he has been performing and creating new plays since 2003. As an actor, he has performed in many theaters in Canada and Europe since his graduation from the Conservatoire in 1985. On television, he was seen in Caméra café and the popular family comedy Les Parents on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). On the big screen, his performances have included parts in The Decline of the American Empire, La moitié gauche du frigo, Gaz Bar Blues, and C'est pas moi je le jure, which was presented in several film festivals. He has directed some twenty plays including Bashir Lazhar and La Fin.
About Tobias Wegner: Tobias Wegner was born in Heidelberg, Germany. He completed his acrobatic training at the Belgium University of Contemporary Circus Arts (E.S.A.C.) in Brussels. His professional career has taken him around the world, performing across Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Tobias has performed at the Southbank Centre (London), the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale in Paris, the Schauspiel in Frankfurt, the Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin, and on Theater Row in New York. Tobias won the European competition Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe with the project AIUAIO and his own company of the same name.
About Circle of Eleven: Berlin-based Circle of Eleven is a creative platform for innovative entertainment formats. They endeavor to develop sophisticated show concepts combining various genres into single dramatic masterpieces. These projects blend music, artistry, dance, and theater into a unique form of entertainment, which carries on the spirit of classic variety theater at a contemporary circus level.
FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross-cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. For more, visit www.fiaf.org.
FIAF presents: Leo tonight, February 9, at 7pm at FIAF; Florence Gould Hall, 55 E 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue). Admission: FIAF Members $30, Non-Members $40, Kids 12 & under $15. Tickets: fiaf.org | 800 982 2787. Transportation: Subway - 4, 5, 6, N, R and Q to 59th Street & Lexington Avenue; F to 63rd Street & Lexington Avenue; E to 53rd Street & 5th Avenue. Bus - M1, M2, M3, M4, Q31 to 59th Street; M5 to 58th Street.