Dogugaeshi takes its name from a 17th century Japanese stage technique, in which sliding paper screens depicting animals, interiors or landscapes are whipped away by puppeteers to reveal new backdrops. It has been called a “wood-and-paint version of multimedia.”
Basil Twist takes the technique as a departure point for an intimate, contemporary work of puppetry influenced both by the the tradition of dogugaeshi and his own encounters with the remaining rural caretakers of this once popular art form.
Blending lightning quick sliding screens, a magnificent puppet of a white fox, trompe l’oeil perspective, and video projection, and accompanied by original shamisen compositions created and performed live by authorized master musician Yumiko Tanaka, Twist creates a magical and meditative miniature universe.
Originally from San Francisco, Basil Twist is a third generation puppeteer, who lives and works in New York. He became the only American to graduate from the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France, one of the world’s premiere puppetry training programs. Twist is the director of The Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE Arts Center. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a United States Artists Fellow.