red beads

Red Beads is a gothic, coming-of-age fairy-tale/opera, choreographed aerially. Lee Breuer’s performance poem, drawn from an original story by Polina Klimovitskaya, explores the eerie family dynamic of a daughters’ transition into womanhood and the gift, from mother to daughter, of the red beads, a metaphor for the passage of power and sexuality. Using only wind, Basil Twist transforms swaths of fabric into luminous, quivering, ephemeral sets and puppets- Along the way, challenging our perception of space and proportion. Ushio Torikai’s haunting, dissonant score swells and ebbs, driving the story while evoking the psychological tension one equates with Hitchcock.



“Red Beads, Mabou Mines’ new production, is theater as sorcery; it is a crossroads where artistic traditions meet to invent a marvelous common language… What is transformational for the audience is the works’ beauty. What a marriage of minds, bodies, tools and talents.” - New York Times


production Credits

Red Beads was developed during residencies at the Walker Arts Center & Red Eye in Association with Three Legged Race in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in July 1999 and at MASS MoCA during January/February 2001 and July/August 2002., September 20, 2005 PREMIERE: Skirball Center for the Performing Arts – NYU

From an Original Story by Polina Klimovitskaya, Music Composed and Arranged by Ushio Torikai, Animated Design and Puppetry by Basil Twist, Performance Poem and Direction by Lee Breuer, Choreography Clove Galilee

ORIGINAL CAST - Daughter – Clove Galilee, Father – Rob Besserer, Mother – Ruth Maleczech, The Doubles, Mother – Chelsea Bacon, Daughter – Zoe Phillips, Father – Terry O’Reilly

Lighting Design – Jennifer Tipton, Mary Louise Geiger, Projection Design – Julie Archer, Costume Design – Meganne George, Sound Design – Ken Travis, Producer for Mabou Mines – Sharon Fogarty, Choreography – Clove Galilee, Music Director – Tom Chiu, Choir Director – Ira Shankman, Flying by FOY, Fly Team Coordinator – Janet D. Clancy

Basil Twist & M.L. Geiger selected to be represented at the 2007 Prague Quadrennial for their design work on Red Beads.