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Delivering a passion for puppeteering


01-09-2017 18:17 BJT

By CNTV Panview editor team     

Editor’s foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation, which aims to showcase the contrasting simplicity and glamour, the antiquity and fashion of China through unique perspectives of young foreign film makers.

As of the year 2016, 101 students from 25 countries were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 13 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of “ethnic minority”.

The film, Intertwined, directed by Lauren Kesler highlights the childlike joys of puppet shows, but the hardships puppeteers must endure to develop their skills.

A camera crew goes behind the scenes filming key players at the Quanzhou Puppet Theatre. The director has aspired to master the art form, since he was 12 years old. His theater group are composed of members of all ages.

Quanzhou marionette style differs from other Chinese puppet shows in that the puppeteers appear on stage with the puppets. That’s a unique method, since the puppet is not the star of the show.

The puppets are connected with many strings, since they are expected to deliver multiple life-like actions. They do more than just mimic talking or walking.

The puppeteers must be in good healthy shape, because they must bounce along with the puppets. That’s no easy task, especially since they must train all day long in preparation for the big show.

Yet, the director looks at his career in an interesting light. He sees the relationship between puppet and puppeteer as mutually beneficially. The puppeteer gives it life, but it’s the puppet that can re-energize the human when both are on stage.  


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

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