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  • International summer workshop
  • Workshop directed by Basil Twist with Philippe Rodriguez-Jorda
  • 7 place Winston Churchill
    08000 Charleville-Mézières - France

    Tél: +33 (0)3 24 33 72 50
  • Duration : From 6 to 24 July, 2020
© Institut International de la Marionnette© Christophe Loiseau
© Christophe Loiseau


"Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with its many strings, which are made to vibrate". - Vassily KANDINSKY

The point at which the inanimate, brought to life, meets music, in all its nobility and purity, offers broad vistas of expression, and here lies the heart of this work-in-progress.
For many years, Basil Twist has been exploring the synthesis of sound and music. This exploration has become a fully developed method of performance creation.
How should we "see" music? How should we hear colours, shapes, images, materials, objects, puppets, movements, spaces and volumes, as we listen to a piece of music? How can a piece of music be made visual?
Basil Twist offers a unique artistic experience which actively involves all the senses.

Progression and methodology

Throughout the three weeks, participants will work on the basic principles of the animation of forms and puppets. Performance and construction work will be pursued together and/or in small groups.

  • Week One
    The first week will be exploratory, involving listening to different pieces of music and experimenting with the animation of forms created with simple materials (cardboard, paper, textiles), or with puppets manipulated by several operators.
  • Week Two
    Proceeding from sensorial listening sessions and "kamikaze" improvisations (quick, spontaneous and free performances), a dramaturgy of movements and images will be formulated and developed in small groups.
  • Week Three
    The final week of "Music in Movement" will end with a short public performance at the Théâtre de l'ESNAM (on the evening of Thursday 23rd July, followed by review and disassembly of Friday 24th July).

Aims of the Course
"Music in Movement" will focus mainly on the performance of a puppet theatre piece involving the principles of musical synthesis, which will be investigated progressively over the three weeks.
This will involve:

  • experimenting with the concept of musical synthesis, using animated forms and in space
  • exploring musical elements through the use of the senses: rhythm, pitch, texture, timbre, expression, etc.
  • exploring musical abstraction and its equivalent in the puppet theatre context
  • - creating images and animated forms using musical textures and simple materials (paper, cardboard, textiles, shadows, etc.)
  • acquiring ideas for how to manipulate and animate materials and puppets as a team
  • building a visual dramaturgy on the basis of selective listening experiences
  • understanding and appreciating the differences between musical and theatrical narration
  • this "work in progress" has been designed specifically for the outstanding and unique Théâtre de l'ESNAM

A native of San Francisco, Basil Twist is an internationally renowned puppeteer and theatrical performer whose experiments with the materials and techniques of puppetry explore the frontiers between the animate and the inanimate, the abstract and the figurative. His work ranges from the performance of conventional narratives to the abstract visualisation of music, but also of dance. He draws inspiration from puppet traditions from all over the world, including hand puppets, bunraku, string puppets and rod puppets.
Basil Twist graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (ESNAM) in 1993.
His performances include: Symphonie Fantastique (1998), Master Peter's Puppet Show (2002), Dogugaeshi (2004), Hansel and Gretel (2006), Arias with a Twist (2008) and The Rite of Spring (2013).
Basil Twist has received many awards for his work. He performs in many countries, now lives and works in New York City and teaches puppetry at several American universities.

Philippe Rodriguez-Jorda is a puppeteer who graduated from ESNAM in 1990. He has taken part in many performances both in France and abroad (in Australia, Russia, The Czech Republic, Switzerland, Poland, Germany and the United States), particularly with the Drak Theatre, François Lazaro, Roman Paska, Marcel Bozonnet, Philippe Adrien and Sylvie Baillon. Philippe Rodriguez-Jorda also has ongoing artistic collaborations with Bérangère Vantusso (Les Aveugles, L'Herbe folle, Violet, Le rêve d'Anna, L'Institut Benjamenta), Sylvain Maurice (La chute de la maison Usher, Les sorcières, Métamorphose) and Audrey Bonnefoy (Compagnie des Petits pas dans les grands). He teaches periodically at ESNAM and runs a permanent workshop at the Charleville-Mézières psychiatric hospital.




15 days / 120 hours
Location: ESNAM 16, Avenue Jean Jaurès 08000 Charleville-Mézières
Course leaders: Basil TWIST, with Philippe RODRIGUEZ-JORDA
Participant profile: This course is designed for professional stage artists: puppeteers, actors, circus artists, dancers, puppet-makers and musicians (without their instruments).
Languages: French and English
Fees: 1,000 € (individually funded), 1,400 € (funded by AFDAS or others)
Deadline for applications: 18 April 2020


Download the application form - Deadline to apply : 18 April 2020

Institut International de la Marionnette • 7 place Winston Churchill, 08000 Charleville-Mézières, France • +33 (0) 3 24 33 72 50