Chinese shadow puppetry（it’s one of the Chinese National Intangible Cultural Heritage) is a form of folk drama acted by colorful silhouette figures made from leather or paper, accompanied by music and singing. Manipulated by puppeteers using rods, the figures create the illusion of moving images on a translucent cloth screen illuminated from behind. Chinese shadow puppetry also passes on information such as cultural history, social beliefs, oral traditions and local customs. It spreads knowledge, promotes cultural values and entertains the audience, especially the youth.
HongQuan Shadow Puppetry Company started in 2004 and already received many awards from the government, like"The protected Intangible Cultural Heritage company of ShanXi Province” “The first traditional cultural education base in ShanXi Province” etc…. The owner of the company, HongQuan, started his career as a shadow puppet carving man in 1983, he now owns the title of Vice President of arts and crafts of Shanxi, Member of Chinese Shadow Puppetry. Many of his shadow puppets won the golden award in 2012, 2014 and 2017 on the Chinese Arts and Crafts Master Piece competition. He’s also invited to giving classes of Puppet Carving in Shanghai Opera College, Xian Meite College and Weina Arts college.
In 2015 HongQuan created a new Shadow Puppetry group, using modern stage technique, such as light, sound, special effect and high tech. He also re-wrote the script, used modern dance, ballet, child play, fable story as well as legend stories to create many great and successful new shadow puppetry acts. The characters in the play are dare to innovate and vivid. They also use today’s popular or well-know music, which really catch people’s eyes to make a huge difference from the traditional style. Wherever they go, they always receive the great positive comments after the show.
They are also invited to do the cultural exchange event worldwide on behalf of China.
In their modern shadow puppetry show, you are not just seeing the ballerina, but also a live Michael Jackson and much more…..
So far they have 7 great successful acts;
1. Modern ballet play “Bai Mao Nv” 7min
This play uses the traditional shadow puppetry technique deliver the ballerina’s elegant skills. In the play, ballerina is getting ready for the new year, pray for best wishes, happily dancing with the beautiful well-known song of “Bei Feng Chui”
2. “Crane and Turtle” 9min
The little frog is playing with his mom and suddenly was bitten by the turtle. When they have problem to get away from the turtle, the crane appeared to drive away the turtle and sent the mother frog and the frog to the lotus leaf to play with them. The play reflects the difficulty of working together to succeed.
3. “Chinese Holiday” 10min
This play reflects the holiday of “Yuan Xiao Jie”. People have some specific activities such as the lion dance, dragon dance, acrobatics, dancing and other busy scenes to reflect people's love of life and the joy of harvest.
4. “Silk Road” 3min
Desert, Camel, Flying and long silk dance…. Our new generation’s shadow puppetry shows us a beautiful "silk road". This play is very popular on dragon TV's "Applaud for China" program.
5. “Mouse and Cat” 9min
A little lazy cat guards a can of oil. A mouse took advantage of the little yellow cat's sleep to steal oil. The yellow cat caught this mouse stealing oil, but under the persuasion and temptation of the mouse, the cat started to eat oil together with the mouse and completely forgot its job. Finally the other black cat caught them both. The story ended up with the little mouse was caught and the yellow cat was severely punished.
6.“Smart Monkeys” 13min
Three clever and lovely monkeys found a big watermelon but they were eaten by a litter of mice. In desperation, the monkeys used their intelligence to catch the rats.
7. “Michael Jackson” 3min
This is a totally new work that combines traditional Chinese culture with international fashion elements. They use shadow form to perform the classical dance steps such as Mike's mechanical dance and moonwalk. As this act is super popular when it came to people’s vision, there are many TV programs have invited them to join, like "people's Spring Festival gala" of CCTV's large-scale cultural heritage program, as well as "ding ge long dong qiang" and Shanxi, Hong Kong, Macau, Guangdong, Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang TVs.
Between the act, there will be a host to explain the act and stories behind to guide the audience easily understand the play while also enjoying the whole completed work that the entertainers want to deliver. During the performance, the audience will be invited to experience and learn the simple operational skills and make up their own performances which is always a fun part for both the volunteer and the audience.
这是一个中国传统文化与国际时尚元素被创新融合的新作品。 演员用皮影的形式来演艺迈克的机械舞、太空步等经典舞步。此节目曾参与央视大型文化传承类节目《叮咯咙咚呛》及陕西、香港、澳门、广东、辽宁、吉林、 黑龙江七地联合《百姓春晚》。
PICTURES / 剧照