Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Thousands of locals on August 16 attended the first Việt Nam Puppetry Festival on HCM City’s Nguyễn Huệ Pedestrian Street, which closes on August 18.
The event, themed Giấc mơ xanh (Blue Dream), aims to bring puppetry art closer to the public, organisers said.
Different types of puppetry were performed on six different stages, including, water, shadow and hand puppets, among others.
“I’ve only heard of puppet plays, and had never seen them in real life. I’m glad I brought my daughter here so that she can enjoy the show with me,” Thảo My, 27, told Việt Nam News.
“My daughter especially enjoyed the shadow puppetry!” she said.
Hoàng Hải, a friend of My, said: “Though this event appears to target a younger audience, I feel like adults would benefit from it too since not many people know about puppetry.”
Many people on the street agreed that puppetry is rarely emphasised by the media as a significant form of art.
“Having the opportunity to see puppetry in real life, though on a small scale, got me thinking about what a pity it would be if we were to lose this beautiful form of art,” Hải said.
“It requires so much effort to produce a single play! From the shadow puppet play I saw, I learned that artists not only have to handle the puppet but voicing of their character,” My said, adding that each character needs a different tone.
Hồn quê (Hometown Spirit) was one of the most important plays of the festival. It was performed via water puppetry and created by People’s Artist Vương Duy Biên.
This play combined the art of arranging subjects and water puppetry, and emphasised the value of hometowns, organisers said.
In addition to locals, the Việt Nam Puppetry Festival attracted many international tourists.
Tim, 45, from the US, said that though he did not understand most of the play’s story plot, he was excited to film everything that he saw.
“This speaks Asian to me! I can’t wait to show this inspiring footage to my fellows back home,” he said.
Some people said the three-day event was relatively short, and that similar events should be held in the future.
“Every play tells a beautiful moral and story that we can benefit from. I understand that puppetry is not for everyone but at least the young generation should be reminded that it exists,” Đại Nghĩa, 58, said. — VNS