Jailbreak Mind

mixed media dance theatre

Fabien Prioville performing Jailbreak Mind photo: Ursula Kaufmann
Fabien Prioville performing Jailbreak Mind photo: Ursula Kaufmann


Virtual worlds become real in Fabien Prioville’s dark visions. The starting point for this solo is the story of a young Japanese who, seemingly at random, killed a group of people. It seems he logs into the head of the perpetrator, to illegally gain access to his thoughts, doubly mirroring the susceptibility of feelings. Together with electronic musician Frank Schulte and video artist Uli Sigg, he creates an artistic transformation, finding a visual language that unites abstraction and emotionality.


“Prioville finds a form in dance for the soundlessly crying loneliness of an unremarkable contemporary. ... He more often than not succeeds, wholly un-postdramatically, to make this immediacy palpable where perception and identity mingle. Fascination and horror.“ (Melanie Suchy, ballettanz)


Concept, Choreography: Fabien Prioville

Music: Frank Schulte

Video: Uli Sigg

Light: Tobias Heide


Jailbreak Mind was selected as one of 11 productions for Tanzplattform Germany 2010 and has been toured in Germany and performed in vities of Hungary, Netherland, France, India and Japan.

A production by Fabien Prioville, coproduced by tanzhaus nrw and Trafó, Budapest, in the frame of TEMPS D’IMAGES 2009. Supported by Kunststiftung NRW, the NRW-Landesbüro freie Kultur and the  Stiftung Van Meeteren.

video demo of the project


Jailbreak Mind is a performed contribution to the ongoing discussion about the danger of new technologies in our contemporary society and it is an ambitious piece of work. Prioville's persona is obsessed with virtual reality and the graphics are impressive.

At first we follow an onscreen helicopter over New York, as if in a video game, before a figure falls out and tumbles rapidly to the ground. Prioville appears onstage attempting to follow the street map projected onto the floor. His physicality, his movements have been adopted from game avatars, and we watch him ape their random violence as they run amok across the screen with shotguns and pistols exploding heads with a vast splatter of blood.

The onstage technology is clever as white lines appear at a gesture of his hand, delineating corpses, and multiple surfaces are used as screens. Prioville is convincing as the confused youth, friendless but for a mechanical pet, masking his face like a present-day Travis Bickle by wrapping his T-shirt around his head and ever-ready to step over the thin dividing line between reality and fiction, imagination and psychosis.

It would be very easy to get lost in all this technology, but Prioville holds his own with a forceful physical presence in a fine blend of multimedia art (courtesy of Frank Schulte and VJ Uli Sigg) and dance theatre.

Jackie Fletcher - the british theatre guide