By R. Pikser
music, played live by the masterful Christopher O’Riley, offers a journey of
color and shape inside an extraordinary mind.
by music nearly 200 years old, Basil Twist’s Symphonie Fantastique is a
totally modern exploration of what the inside of a mind, or one mind, might be
like. An abstract puppet show is a counter-intuitive concept, but Basil Twist,
master puppeteer, creator, designer, and director of this piece, makes it seem
inevitable as he enthralls us. The puppets, from the front, seem to be inside
a tank, so that we are viewing some sort of underwater world which at times
might be a video screen. Those closer to the stage area probably do not have
that impression as much as those seated farther back. But this ballet of
shapes is no mere sonographic representation of the musical sounds. It is
imagination at play.
realities, or possibly stories, suggest themselves, then dissolve as we watch.
Nothing is left at rest or really identifiable. Points of light appear and
indicate where we might look before disappearing. Clothlike shapes become fish,
become eels, wrap themselves around each other, open themselves, then disappear
for a while, but only for a while. Elements recur, develop, and enrich
themselves and us. The imagination that we watch, how it plays with and blends
colors, bubbles, and strange shapes that we can almost identify, takes us out
of ourselves and into its world. The imagination asks us to expand with it, to
perceive more than we normally do, so that we will see differently henceforth.
only caveat about Symphonie Fantastique is that if we sit back and
observe this show passively, as we do for much of our lives, we will not
apprehend this show for the special experience that it is. To appreciate this
show takes some work: work that is well worth it, but work.
Dream Music Puppetry
29th – July 15th 2018.
Now extended to July 15th.
Sixth Avenue (entrance on Dominick Street)
$35-$100 (in person two hours before show time)