These videos showcase how puppets, marionettes, and other non-human figures have been integrated into Pillow performances in recent years.
Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM
Dark Matters, 2011
The first act of Crystal Pite’s full-evening work is dominated by a seemingly-human figure who reveals himself to be a malevolent being. Dark matters indeed!
Jane Comfort and Company
Underground River, 2011
Although this segment is a striking example of Jane Comfort’s work, it would be hard to call it typical because this versatile artist has transcended genres since the 1970s. It’s particularly fitting to add this vignette from Underground River, a work created in part at the Pillow.
It seems only natural to transition from the segment above to this one, as both employ the theatrical wizardry of Basil Twist. It was Twist’s stroke of brilliance to adapt this classic Ballets Russes story centering on a puppet (a role created for the great Nijinsky) into a presentation with an all-puppet cast. Even the timeless Stravinsky score is here transformed, performed live by identical twin Russian pianists.
Teatro Hugo & Inés
Short Stories, 1999
Although this is one of the longer offerings yet to be included in our online collection (at just over two minutes), the segment seen here is already highly distilled and particularly challenging to excerpt effectively. You’ll see why. These two astoundingly creative artists illustrate the cycle of life, managing to somehow “create” a believable character who ages before our very eyes from a robust and energetic youth to one who must confront the ravages of time.
Barak Marshall's MONGER
Just as Hugo & Inés utilize their own two bodies to magically create a third, here you can see how a pair of Barak Marshall’s dancers seem to conjure a flirty female presence out of thin air. Which leg is which, and whose hands are wandering where they shouldn’t be? You have to watch very closely to figure it out, but all is revealed in the end.
Dix Versions, 2001
Unlike the segments above, the body seen here is entirely human – it just looks unreal. Of course, the illusion is both intentional and extraordinary, pushing the limits of what seems humanly possible. After an auspicious 2001 debut engagement seen here, more than a decade passed before the group returned to the Pillow in 2012.