Day 3 - Water Puppet

Water Puppetry


It is a tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. Today's Vietnamese water puppetry is a unique variation on the ancient Asian puppet tradition.The puppets are made out of wood and then lacquered. The shows are performed in a waist-deep pool. A large rod supports the puppet under the water and is used by the puppeteers, who are normally hidden behind a screen, to control them. Thus the puppets appear to be moving over the water. When the rice fields would flood, the villagers would entertain each other using this form of puppet play.



3 Questions to think about
1)Does the puppets being made out of wooden symbolise or show anything?
2)How do the colourful flags symbolize the history of Vietnam or festive atmosphere?
3)If the puppets are made out of wood, how do they maintain it after constant contact with water?
 

17 comments:

  1. I have gone to several shadow puppet shows ,but this time a water puppet one.The water puppets moved very elegantly and I am pretty sure the puppeteers had to practise a lot to be that good But still I wonder how did they come out with an idea for this, I mean it does not seem like something someone would come up with. But I was really tired and I ended up sleeping through one of the performances .However I really enjoyed the puppet shows , well when I was awake.This puppet show was actually much more popular than others than I have watched , perhaps because they did it well.

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  2. Although it was difficult to understand the puppetry, the puppets were skillfully managed and presented.The drums and voice overs enhanced the performances.However, i slept over some parts of the performances.The performances were well presented but the story line was hard to understand.This was a new experience for me and i truly do not regret taking part in this performance.

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  3. I did not understand the plots but it was evident that effort was put in to have a smooth and well collaborated performance. They moved very elegantly with soothing background music provided.

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  4. The non-living puppets were given life by the skilful puppeteers. The well presented performance and the music made it a real delight to watch. Due to our inability to understand the Vietnamese language, it made it boring at times, when its especially the dialogue part. Elegant moves and life-like movement of limbs made it interesting to watch.

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  5. 5)Water Puppet
    The music was quite weird but the performance was well coordinated. We learnt that the
    farmers invented the water puppet show. Back then, it was considered a high class
    performance

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  6. The Water Puppets are unique to Vietnam, They are really colourful and we also learned that it was invented by farmers for entertainment , it was considered a very High class performance back then

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  7. Water Puppets

    After the prison visit we went to the water puppet show.The concept of water puppet has been around for a very long time.They tell about the story of Vietnamese farmers and the Vietnamese folklore.These were chosen over hundreds of other puppet plays as they thought these were the most unique.Though it might not be such a marvel now,in the past these were considered miracles,something which people couldn’t understand how they did it,just like how magicians wow their audiences with their tricks.

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  8. Water puppet show performs with puppets in the water. I found it interesting in the way they presented old legends. Since they were the longest running water puppet performers in the world, it is no big surprise that their performance was so good. It could not have been any better.

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  9. I really regret sleeping through half of it. However, the moment I woke up, I realised how to admire and love the art of water-puppeting. It also showed the important combination of the four sacred animals. Too bad pictures weren’t allowed.

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  10. This is the first time I have seen a puppet show but it is also unique in the way that it was a water puppet show. The water puppet show must be quite hard as I know that making puppets move is already hard. I have also seen many folklore being told in the form of puppets through this water puppet show.

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  11. The puppet show talks about the life in village(farming, fishing, etc). The show also tells the audience the Vietnamese culture and the beliefs of mythical creatures in the people's heart.
    The Water puppet is hard to even move them, not to mention noting their arms and legs. The show requires a lot of hard work and practices to reach the level of the show.

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  12. The puppet show is believed to be started by a Buddhist monk when Bhuddhism is most famous in Vietnam. The monk wanted to promote Bhuddhism through water puppet. Unfortunately , I fell asleep during the performance so I'm unable to admire much of the performance.

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  13. I did not understand the plots but I can see the amount of effort they put in. The drums and other instrument enhanced the puppet show. I slept for some of the performance which I felt very bad for. However I still enjoyed the performance which I saw.

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  14. In Vietnam, the water puppet show is very popular and it is one of the traditional performances practiced in Vietnam as it shows a typical life style of Vietnamese people in the past and maybe in the present.

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  15. Water puppetry is a specialty in Vietnam and I could understand the storyline behind the show. It needs good coordination when performing as there are more than one performer, it is also heavy as it uses bamboo sticks to move about so they back stage performers need lots of strength and practice.

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  16. The puppet was put on a long stick with three sticks at one end.We also learnt about the 4 sacred animals- The Dragon, The Phoenix, The Turtle and The Unicorn. The show was very interesting and I enjoyed it. I think that the people behind the stage have to be very strong for the puppets to move about. The puppets are made of wood then lacquered so they stay dry in the water.

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  17. Water puppet shows were a high class performance in the past in Vietnam. The puppets are 'dragged' from underwater by a long pole, and the puppets are being dragged from the water below. These performances are based on stories of the past, like their fishing experience, and also on the religions.

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