Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More Puppets

The two outstanding puppet shows were the Burmese human puppets and the Viet Nam "water puppets".  The Burma troupe displayed a very inventive show using the puppeteers as the puppets themselves.  They lay on their backs and used legs and feet to portray the puppet figures dancing and bowing to music.  Then they told a story of storks meeting, falling in love, producing eggs, and finally hatching stork chicks.  The storks were people bent over with straw hats to represent the stork bodies and their arms then became stork legs and another person on top used their arm and hand to form the stork neck and head.  Unfortunately the stage was too far away for any pictures.

The water puppets from Viet Nam are apparently famous originating in early Asian centuries when farmers would make ponds along side their rice paddies and perform puppetry to assure a good rice crop.  Now performed only in Hanoi, the puppeteers stand in the water behind the bamboo screen and manipulate the puppets from long sticks under the water.  The dragons, or "Nagas" shoot fireworks from their mouths and can also shoot streams of water at the audience.  This photo shows the troupe after the performance in front of the screen.

Children in the audience had a wonderful time along with the "big kids".

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