Peter and Wendy is the the first play I ever saw. I was around 11 years old, and from that moment my path in life became very clear. I was especially inspired by Karen Kandel, an African-American performer who played the role of the narrator in puppeteer Basil Twist’s adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.
Since first being exposed to Basil Twist’s work, he has become someone whose art I follow. A few summers ago I made it back to San Diego just in time to see his production Dogugaeshi. To brief you, dogugaeshi is a technique of sliding paper screens that create an unfolding of images. The technique a was developed in traditional Awaji Japanese puppet theatre. Although hardly practiced now, Basil Twist recreates this technique and reimagines parts of the art that history doesn’t account for.
The dramaturgy embedded in Basil work is unreal. As an artist he is constantly pulling from images of the past, and creating new art around his findings. He is constantly pressing boundaries in the world of puppetree.
Here is a recent interview describing the nature of his work Enchantment- Basil Twist