A third-generation puppeteer, Basil Twist began presenting his own work in the 1990s. He employs many different puppetry styles in his presentations, which means that no two productions are alike. His Symphonie Fantastique, for instance, utilized elaborate lighting effects and multi-colored fabrics in a gigantic aquarium to visualize Hector Berliioz's musical masterpiece. In perhaps his most dance-oriented work, he reinterpreted Michel Fokine's landmark 1911 ballet, Petrouchka, as a tale not only about puppets, but one completed enacted by puppets. In this work, nine hidden puppeteers combine Czech and Japanese traditions in a tour de force of puppetry technique. In addition to his own independent projects, Twist often creates puppetry elements in the works of fellow artists, including Mabou Mines, Lee Nagrin, and Jane Comfort.
Dance Title: Petruchka
Creation/Direction: Basil Twist (2001)
Music: Igor Stravinsky, performed by Julia and Irina Elkina