Traditional Japanese puppeteers to perform in Ha Noi

Update: March, 19/2015 - 16:28
Japanese puppeteers from Youkiza Marionette Theatre will have two performances at Viet Nam National Puppet Theatre this weekend in Ha Noi. -- Photo courtesy Japan Foundation
HA NOI (VNS) — A performance of Japanese classic string puppetry will be staged at the Viet Nam National Puppetry Theatre this weekend.

Puppeteers from the Youkiza Marionette Theatre will perform a repertoire, including the Lion Dance; extracts from Tsunayakata and Oshichi, The Greengrocer's Daughter.

An introduction about the history of the theatre will also be given before each performance.

The five-minute Lion Dance is performed on New Year's Eve and at festivals to drive away the spirit of illness and evil.

The attraction of the dance lies in the combination of large dynamic movements and subtle string manipulation that expresses the various moods of the lion as he chases a butterfly.

Extracts from the story of Tsunayakata will be performed for about half an hour, while the performance based on an extract from Oshichi, The Greengrocer's Daughter will last for 10 minutes.

The Oshichi, Greengrocer's Daughter is a story dating back to 1681. It narrates the story of a woman, who committed arson and was reunited with her lover. Today's puppet tale is one of the many fictional versions of that historic incident.

The Youkiza Marionette Theatre was founded in 1635 by Youki Magosaburo I and has continued till the present time of Youki Magosaburo XII. In existence for centuries, it was awarded the title of national Important Intangible Folk-cultural Property and Intangible Cultural Property of Tokyo.

Its main activities are classical productions drawn from its "joruri", a form of traditional Japanese narrative music repertoire and new plays, magic lantern shows, and intercultural productions.

Their experimental productions include an actor-puppet performance, in which the puppeteer both manipulates puppets and performs as a character himself; which is the application of pre-modern puppetry techniques; and the insertion of Edo magic lantern visual.

The theatre troupe has performed at many festivals globally, including at the Avignon Theatre Festival, the Croatian Eurokaz Festival and the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleta, Italy.

The ten-member group will reach Ha Noi today. Their performances will be staged at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday at 361 Truong Chinh Street, Ha Noi. Admissions are free.

A workshop on Japanese classical string puppetry will also be conducted at the theatre on Monday. — VNS