W ATER P UPPET S HOW As if the rains had not given us enough of dampness, our next excursion was a visit to the Water Puppet Theater! These figures are about 1/3 life-size and seem to float on top of a jade-green pool. The stories enacted are from Vietnamese folk tales and are usually humorous rather than doleful. There are water buffalo puppets, bird puppets, human beings and dogs. The puppeteers operate these large marionette-type figures from behind a curtain which just grazes the pool surface. As we would learn when they took their bows, the puppet masters stand in the water themselves as they create the most complex and seemingly impossible dance steps, undulating dragon movements, chases, and birds flying and landing on the water surface. The orchestra with accompanying singers sits to one side providing the story line and music. A very entertaining performance requiring remarkable skills in the puppeteers.
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