underground river

"Mr. Twist's tiny cloth puppet and the energetic dancers who occasionally manipulate it help turn a fantasy into a telling comment on rebellious inner voices that perhaps not just the comatose hear." - Anna Kisselgoff, -The New York Times

Underground River, winner of a 1998 Bessie Award as a "risk-taking and profound theatrical tour de force," is an exploration of the rich fantasy life of a girl who appears to the outside world to be unconscious. Singing a cappella songs by Toshi Reagon and interacting with the magical visual creations of puppeteer Basil Twist, the dancers dwell in a world of magic realism and eccentric beauty unseen by those who wish to make her "well."

For video excerpt and more information | janecomfortandcompany.org

Underground River has been presented at

Jacob's Pillow
The Joyce
Dance Theatre Workshop
The Bates Dance Festival



"The gentle movements, patronizing tone of the psychiatrist's voice, toy-like flying fishes and the wee marionette the dancers charmingly manipulate fashion a touching child-like ambience. The dancers sing and move with a bouyance that is almost magical, they seem to transform the hard-surfaced floor into a pillowy cloud and hold the audience within their web." - Backstage

production Credits

Concept/Direction/Text: Jane Comfort, Choreography: Jane Comfort & Company, Music: Toshi Reagon, Haydn and traditional folk song, Visual Effects: Basil Twist, Costumes: Liz Prince, Lighting Design: David Ferri, Original:Aleta Hayes, Stephanie McKay, Stephen Nunley, Cynthia Svigals, Recorded Voices: Leslie Nipkow, Larkin Malloy and Emily Weiner

Performance History:
Premiere: PS 122, New York City 1998
Restaged: Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival July 2011
Commission by Jacob’s Pillow/PillowWorks series, with additional support from The New York State Council on the Arts and The Harkness Foundation for Dance.