"The puppet scenes were minimal, largely silent, and spiked with pauses so well placed that they prompted gratifying streams of association. The vivid dances featured their own sly indirections but without missing a beat. Between the two, a magical atmosphere arose." - Apollinaire Scherr, The Financial Times
Commissioned and Produced by Bard SummerScape, Fantasque is an ebullient and magical pageant created by choreographer John Heginbotham and puppeteer Amy Trompetter, and inspired by the Ballet Russes' 1919 production of La Boutique Fantasque. Giant puppets and human dancers join forces to create a fable of a battle of light and darkness, with a fantastical cast of characters featuring giant babies, blue angels, devils, rats, and a restaurant where the customers are tuxedo-wearing fish. Performed to live music composed by Gioachino Rossini and Ottorino Respighi, Fantasque ruminates on morality and immorality as seen through a child’s eyes in a series of connected vignettes bound by an unconventional and tender merging of puppetry and dance.
World Premiere: July 1, 2016
Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Bard College
New York City Premiere: November 17-18, 2018
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
New York, NY
“Fantasque, his latest work, … finds him with a partner in crime, puppeteer Amy Trompetter, whose creations exaggerate and enlarge Heginbotham’s fantastical ideas. The result is mystifying and delightful, the marriage between puppetry and dance natural. Like dancers, puppets are visual representations of ideas that are most effectively conveyed without words.” - Theo Boguszewski, Dance Enthusiast
Fantasque was commissioned by and developed in residence at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it was produced by and received its World Premiere at Bard SummerScape in July 2016. Fantasque was developed with the support of a 2016 CUNY Dance Initiative Residency at Brooklyn College.
The world premiere of Fantasque at Bard SummerScape was part of The New York State Presenters Network Presenter-Artist Partnership Project made possible through a regrant from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Puppet and Set Design:
6 dancers, 1 pianist, 5 puppeteers
Photos by Christopher Duggan