Basil Twist unfolds an intimate, abstract, contemporary journey of images and emotions influenced by the rarefied tradition of Japanese dogugaeshi stage mechanism technique and his own encounters with the remaining rural caretakers of this once popular art form. This hour-long performance features original shamisen compositions created and performed live by authorized master musician Yumiko Tanaka. The multidisciplinary production blends Twist's signature puppetry with video projection design by Peter Flaherty, lighting design by Andrew Hill and sound design by Greg Duffin.


"Dogugaeshi" was originally commissioned by The Japan Society in 2003. The World Premiere was presented at The Japan Society in New York in 2004. Major support was provided by Creative Capital, Doris Duke Charitable Trust, The Jim Henson Foundation, and MAP Fund for the creation of this work. Dogugaeshi received a 2005 Bessie Award and an UNIMA Award for Excellence in Puppetry.

"A gorgeous..cavorting..dance...it will come to you as far as you let it in" - The New York Times


The Japan Society's Centennial Season (2007)
Yokohama Arts Foundation (2007)
Tokushima, Cultural & International Affairs Division (2007)
Kyoto Performing Arts Center Kyoto University of Art and Design (2007)
Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (2007)
The Japan Society's 100th Centennial Season (2007)

Also presented at:




"Twist is at once reviving a lost tradition and breaking new creative ground." - The Japan Times

"Intimate and spectacular, a haunting abstract piece about lost traditions" - The New York Sun

"A hypnotic and hermetic spectacle" - Newsday

This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Theatre Vidy Lausanne (2014)
Hamilton College, New York (2013)
Radar LA/RedCat, Los Angeles (2013)
Cal Performances, Berkeley (2013)
The Japan Society's 60th Performing Arts Season NYC (2013)
Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston (2009) 
Cleveland Public Theatre, Ohio (2009)
The La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego, CA  (2009)
EMPAC/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New York, (2009)