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Photo Credit :: Basil Twist
Arts & Entertainment
Basil Twist's Petrushka at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)
Mar 7 2011
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If you were smart and clever, you caught "Arias with a Twist," the long-running Joey Arias and Basil Twist collaboration at New York's Here Arts Center.

If, however, you were living on another planet during the hit show's nearly year-long run, and if you have yet to encounter maestro puppeteer Basil Twist's magic, then get yourself to Philadelphia for "Basil Twist's Petrushka."

The man behind the puppet magic for the Broadway hit, "The Addams Family Musical," Twist is the only American to graduate from France's prestigious École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionette. Or to put it simply, Twist is brilliant.

Twist makes his Philadelphia debut with his version of the classic 1911 Ballets Russes production of the tragic love triangle between three magical puppets: the clown Petrushka, the alluring Ballerina, and the charismatic Moor,

In 1911, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes debuted the legendary production of "Petrushka," with music by Igor Stravinsky - but long before that, "Petrushka" was well known throughout St. Petersburg as a marionette show.

If ever there was a story custom-made for an artist, it is this one. Twist's version of "Petrushka" uses two Steinway pianos, played by identical twins, Julia and Irina Elkina. Using a combination of Czech and Japanese Bunraku puppetry, the nine puppeteers recreate the beloved Russian tale about life, love, and sorrow.

Prepare to suspend disbelief - and enter into the wonder-filled world of Basil Twist.


Third in a series of features about the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), continuing through May 1 with the support of PIFA.

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