Visual Arts

Arty Girl: Life Size Puppets at the Phoenix Symphony

All of the CGI special effects in movies over the years has put a bad taste in my mouth. Even on a 2D screen, you just can't beat real space. I'd much rather see a slightly stiff and somewhat immobile Yoda than a Yoda who is so CGI'd out, he looks like a freakin' cartoon.

And, as a side note, I am pretty embarrassed that I just referenced Star Wars.

Anyway, my point is, puppets are cool.

And it sounds like there are some amazing puppets coming to the Phoenix Symphony.

Basil Twist and his puppeteers were in town last year performing Petrushka with the Phoenix Symphony. This year, they'll be manipulating dramatic, life size puppets in a "puppet-opera" based on the antics of Don Quixote.

The team will be working with Bunraku-style and rod puppets. Don't know what Bunraku-style means? That's okay. Neither did I.

Bunraku originated in Japan and it's a style in which three puppeteers are required for each puppet. They remain in plain sight of the audience. Rod puppets are pretty self-explanatory: the puppet parts move with the help of attached rods that the puppeteers control.

All of this puppet action will unfold as the Phoenix Symphony plays music by composers Silvestre Revuelta and Gabriela Lena Frank.

And there won't be any cartoon Yodas (thank God).

Concerts run at Symphony Hall from January 14-16, check showtimes and buy tickets at or call 601-495-1999.

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Lilia Menconi
Contact: Lilia Menconi