Almanac Dance Circus Theatre’s Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes, Sept 6-23

Philadelphia-based dance/circus/theater ensemble Almanac delighted audiences at last year’s Philadelphia Fringe Festival with Exile 2588. This year, Almanac presents an updated version of its 2015 work Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes: absurd, intimate, heart-rending and breath-taking, Leaps defies categorization as self-impressed acrobats become a hapless seafaring cult.

The 80-minute show will run for 17 performances September 6— 23 at the Painted Bride Art Center in Old City Philadelphia. This production features new live music by Mel Hsu, an installation collaboratively designed and created by visual artist Clancy Philbrick and the Almanac ensemble, and is directed by 2017 Pew Fellow Annie Wilson. General admission is $25 (FringeArts Members save 30%). Seating is limited.

Using Almanac’s signature blend of jaw-dropping ensemble acrobatics, dance, theatre, and live music to tell its story, Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes takes audiences on a journey with four weirdos who find each other in a mundane world and push themselves to be “exceptional in every moment.” As they purify themselves and adopt a uniform of cultish homogeny, their shared sofa becomes a ship and they set out on the high seas to leave the world of normalcy behind. But all is not as they imagined it would be.

Since its Philadelphia premiere in 2015, Leaps of Faith has impressed audiences in Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island (Trinity Rep), and New Orleans (Faux/Real Festival). Most recently the work was presented at the NYU Skirball Center by CircusNow as part of International Circus Exposure 2017, where it was called the “one hit” of the festival by the review blog Theatre Pizzazz. Almanac’s most recent full-length works, Fronteras: An Homage to Whatshername and Fronteras: A Door in the Desert were presented by FringeArts in May.

Leaps, like all of Almanac’s work, is concerned with the way people makes decisions together, listen to each other (or not), vibrate off one-another, and all of the complications that arise from that,” says co-creator and Almanac co-founder Ben Grinberg. “But our concerns, as millennial citizens in a darkening world, have shifted seismically since we first made this work. The decisions we make collectively seem, to me, at least, a lot less certain to lead to a greater good than they did when we first started creating this piece in 2014. Is it better to flee a world that you see changing for the worse? Or is it better to stay and fight?”

Almanac is supported by The Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Wyncote Foundation. Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes is made possible through residencies at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, Mascher Space Co-Op, and Rebel Circus Arts. Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes is a co-presentation with the Painted Bride Art Center.

Running Time 80 minutes with no intermission
Suitable for children 12 and up
Co-Created and Performed by Nicole Burgio, Nick Gillette, Ben Grinberg, Adam Kerbel

With words by Josh McIlvain
Directed by Annie Wilson
Live Original Music by Mel Hsu, (Original “Seafarers” Theme by Patrick Lamborn)
Lighting, Set, and Installation Design by Clancy Philbrick and Robin Stamey

Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes
Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
Wednesday, September 6th: 8pm
Thursday, September 7th: 8pm
Friday, September 8th: 9:30pm*
Saturday, September 9th: 10pm
Sunday, September 10th: 2pm
Monday, September 11th: 6:30pm
Tuesday, September 12th: 2pm
Wednesday, September 13th: 10pm
Friday, September 15th: 10pm
Saturday, September 16th: 2pm
Sunday, September 17th: 10pm
Monday, September 18th: 6:30pm
Tuesday, September 19th: 6:30pm
Thursday, September 21st: 8pm
Friday, September 22nd: 8pm
aturday, September 23rd: 5pm
Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St, Philadelphia 19106