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  Created in China>Art Treasures>Chinese Performance Art>Shadow Play and Puppetry
Puppets from Various Places


In the past, stages for puppet show were usually a platform about three meters square, resting on wooden piles. Doors on either side served as entry and exit points for the puppets. A puppet troupe generally consisted of 11 people, including a six-people orchestra and five puppet operators.

Li Guan, a playwright who lived during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, was closely associated with puppeteers in Heyang. He introduced innovations in the structure and modeling of puppets, improved the vocal presentations, and wrote many plays for Heyang puppet shows.
Famous puppeteers at that time included Wang "Liuliuzhi"Wuhanand Dang Wenhui.

Puppeteers from the younger generation like Wang Hongmin and Xiao Wangieng have also contributed to the art of manipulation. Their puppets are capable of highly intricate movements such as moving a chair, writing with a brush, and carrying loads with a shoulder pole. Over the years, their performances have won awards from time to time.

Puppet theater in Heyang has a large repertoire of some 500 traditional plays and plays of adventure and detection. The most popular are The Thebo Bower, ThePavilionof the Immortal Sent Down to Earth for Transgression in Heaven, and The Gold Hairpin. Traditionally, following each play, Heyang puppeteers usually perform one or two humorous sketches to the delight of audiences. Heyang puppetry features the beauty of antiquity in its presentation style, and its music is vivacious, pleasant, and full of local color.

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