I posted a while ago about some Chinese puppetry workshops I’d been attending in November, which I really enjoyed.
I didn’t know very much about the overall project at the time, thinking it was just some one-off free workshops. However, the workshop week finished with an audition (using marionettes with a pre-recorded soundtrack/dialogue in Mandarin.) That was followed later by another movement-based audition, and in the end I’ve ended up as one of eight people chosen to be in the ‘Sidekick Project,’ which involves learning traditional puppetry and participating in performances and outreach. It’s lovely to be chosen (I’m the only foreigner). So there will probably be a lot more puppetry stuff appearing here.
Yesterday was the induction and first class, in which we learned how to operate a couple of different types of shadow puppets. Today we’ve had a self-led rehearsal to work on the technique, as well as choreograph some routines for an upcoming performance. We’re working in three pairs with each pair operating a puppet. It should be clear from the photos how it works. These are the two puppets we’ve been working with:
Today was particularly windy, so we found a better space to work in – we rehearse just using a wall rather than the shadow puppet screen. We’re only using the balcony for the nice light for photos here.