Puppeteer Basil Twist to lecture on creativity, technique

Creative Matters Lecture: Basil Twist

UI Art Building West — Thursday, Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m.

A screenshot from video of Basil Twist's puppet ballet of Stravinsky's 'Petrushka"
A screenshot from video of Basil Twist’s puppet ballet of Stravinsky’s ‘Petrushka”

Theatre artist and master puppeteer Basil Twist comes to Iowa City on Thursday, Sept. 29 for a conversation as part of the University of Iowa’s Creative Matters Lecture Series, sponsored by the Office of Research and Economic Development and the Arts Advancement Committee. The event falls exactly a year after the MacArthur Foundation announced him as a 2015 Genius Grant recipient. Twist’s accolades also include an OBIE Award for his 1998 Symphonie Fantastique and a 2006 Guggenheim fellowship.

His talk, in room 240 of Art Building West on the University of Iowa campus (141 North Riverside Drive), is free and open to the public (although RSVPs are encouraged). It will center on the nature of creativity, and will include demonstrations of his groundbreaking and abstract techniques. Twist will also take questions from the audience.

Twist’s visit comes ahead of the upcoming Joffrey Ballet production of the Nutcracker at Hancher Auditorium in December; he’s on the creative team for the new production, which will reimagine the familiar story in the setting of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (tickets available now).

He is best known for Symphonie Fantastique, and has collaborated with artists as diverse as playwright Paula Vogel (The Long Christmas Ride Home) and dance company Pilobolus. Twist served as underwater puppetry consultant for the 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He founded, and serves as director of, the Dream Music Puppetry program at HERE Arts Center in New York City.