Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chinese Shadow Theatre Exhibition at Denison Museum*.

A few months ago I received an invitation from Anna Cannizzo, curator of Denison Museum, (a museum of Denison University in Ohio, USA), to collaborate with one of my videos displayed on my Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/teatroesferico. The museum was planning an exhibition to display its collection of Chinese shadows puppet theater and also to talk about how this kind of puppets are handled; they had chosen a video I recorded at a performance by Wei family troupe from Sha'anxi in Dashanzi 798 in Beijing. The video apparently had some problems with the format and they preferred to use other, one so far the most watched of my videos, "A Monkey king fighting", recorded in 2007 in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province.

The exhibition is called "Between Light and Shadow: Chinese Puppets from the Denison Museum" and the openning on Friday, January 23th, 2009. I share some photograps Ms. Cannizzo kindly sent to me, and of course the two videos showed there.

The text on the panel says:

Contemporary Chinese Shadow Theater The clip you are viewing is an excerpt from video taken by Gustavo Thomas, a researcher of theater arts. The video provides two perspectives of a recent shadow puppet show in Wuzhen xizhan, China. The video is entitled “Monkey King Fighting” and was recorded on March 28th, 2007. According to Thomas the “experience was very interesting: old musicians playing traditional instruments, only one puppeteer (a young woman) with her assistance, and those beautiful puppets of course. It seemed that day they expected hundreds of children so they prepared a simple fight-scene between the Monkey King and other mythological warriors, showing how the Monkey King was able to change himself into anything he wanted and it was a unique opportunity to see how one shadow puppet performance is done facing the stage and behind it, to study it or simply to enjoy this traditional theatrical culture from two different points of view.”

Here those two videos taken in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province.

* About the Museum and the exhibition follow the link:

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