The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will present performances of the UNIMA Chinese Puppetry Groups on February 8 and 9 at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute (THB) (Studio Theater) at 7:00 pm.
The said performances are in line with CCP’s membership since 2016 in the Silk Road International League of Theatres (SRILT), an international organization of performing arts venues in Asia. This cultural exchange tour is being organized by the UNESCO UNIMA (Union Internationale De La Marionette) Asia Pacific Commission (UUAPC), the China Performing Arts Agency (CPAA) Theatres Ltd. and the China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG). The performance will showcase the magnificent and mystical tradition of Chinese Puppetry performance art featuring three Chinese Puppetry groups namely the Yangzhou Puppet Art Research Institute, Sichuan Puppet Theater and the Pingyang Puppetry Protection.
The Yangzhou Puppetry Troupe is famous for its “forcefulness and softness, delicateness and expressiveness”. It is composed of national acknowledged senior, middle-aged and youth professional artists and a few professional puppet crafting and designing artists. Yangzhou Puppetry Troupe has received several major awards such as the “Wenhua Award” from the Ministry of Culture, Best Play during the Golden Lion National Puppetry and Shadow Presentation, and the Exquisite Work Award of Jiangsu Stage Art, among others. It has toured and performed in over 40 countries in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The Yangzhou puppetry has already been listed under the National Intangible Heritage Safeguarding Projects.
Founded in 1919, the Pingyang Puppetry Protection and Inheritance Center, has given performances in various countries and regions of Europe, America, Africa and Southeast Asia. It has received over 30 national prizes and 300 provincial prizes and is one of the most influential contemporary string puppetry troupes. Focused on string puppetry and together with hand puppetry, rod puppetry and actor-puppet show, Pingyang Puppetry is a synthetic stage art. The manipulation of string puppets is fairly complicate, which includes string layout, plate hook and holding, and synthetic performance.
The Sichuan Huge Puppet Theatre is the only inheritance unit for the North Sichuan Huge puppet, the national intangible cultural heritage. It is a professional institute on research, safeguarding, inheritance and development of intangible heritage in Nanchong City. It has been recognized as the “Important Export Project of National Culture” by five Ministries in China and was highly praised during its visits to several countries and regions. The North Sichuan huge puppets have the sizes of real men. The giant puppet bodies are in exquisite production with vivid expressions on their faces, unity of form and spirit and strong resemblance to real people. The skillful manipulation and elegant figure make them undistinguishable from real life.
The audience will be delighted to witness the exquisite manipulation techniques of the puppeteers as they endow life to puppets, expressing the elements of drama, song and dance. Body language is integrated with stunning puppet dance in highly difficult stunts, charming postures and graceful rhythms that draw vivid landscapes and fascinating stories.
Local puppeteers and performing artists are invited to participate in a special workshop on February 10 – 1:00-5:00pm at THB. The workshop has limited slots only, first come-first serve. Send advance reservation by calling the CCP Cultural Exchange Dept. at 832-1125 local 1708 or 1709. For ticket information, contact the CCP Box Office 832-3704 or Ticket World 891-9999.