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HO CHI MINH CITY, June 23 (Xinhua) -- In a summer afternoon in Vietnam's capital, audience's eyes were on stalks as they saw colorful puppets in the form of a peasant, fish, fox, or dragon ploughing a rice field, swimming, climbing a tree new balance 580 uomo , or puffing fire and smoke on the surface of water without the sign of manipulators or equipment.
While many traditional performing arts are facing extinction, water puppetry, which dates back nearly a millennium, has become increasingly well supported both domestically and abroad as a uniquely Vietnamese art form.
The surface of a pool of water is the performing area, which serves not only to hide the puppeteers and the puppets' strings, but also to create a reflective stage providing natural amplification for the singing puppeteers accompanied by percussion music and fire crackers.
The stage, constructed of bamboo, resembles a traditional village's communal house where villagers gather for important events.
Because of its special stage new balance 574 donne , this art also needs unique "actors." The puppets with heights of 28-45 centimeters are usually made from the wood of the fig trees, which is light and tough.
The figures are then painted with seven layers of waterproof paint. As with many other performing arts, puppet characters are colorfully made up.
The plays generally use a selection of some 30 traditional repertoires, which include Teu dancing, buffalo fighting, ploughing, duck tending and fox hunt, boat racing new balance 574 bambino , dragon dancing, and chess playing, all of which portray either daily agricultural life or the wars of national heroes against foreign invaders.
When the curtain is raised, the stock character Teu, the village buffoon with a plump body and a humorous smile, enters onto the stage in an unfastened shirt showing his round abdomen and introduces the play with a song.
After that, he sets off a string of firecrackers. Then the main play begins: an old fisherman is sitting in a boat dropping his line into the water and a fish rises to the bait and squirms, or a little boy sits atop his buffalo and plays the flute. Such scenes need flexibility and skill to portray.
"I've gone through many rural areas of Vietnam and seen rural life reflected in the shows. It's given me a better understanding of the cultural relationship between the people and waterways here new balance 574 uomo ," said Naomi Liner, an Australian visitor in Hanoi.
"What I like most is the way Vietnamese artists are able to control their puppets under the water. It's a clever art," commented Stefan Goedhart from the Netherlands.
Behind the stage, puppeteers, both male and female, stand waist-deep in the water, manipulating the puppets on the water's surface through a complicated system of long strings and long poles below the waterline.
Some puppeteers from the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater in Hanoi said that they often have to resort to drinking hot water and applying mashed ginger to their half-submerged body when the outside temperature dips below 12 Celsius degrees.
Besides the puppeteers, who hide themselves behind the curtains new balance 574 offerta , other performers in the troupe sing "cheo" (traditional Vietnamese opera) and play music with cymbals, flutes, drums and wooden bells. "I like the Vietnamese folk song music played in puppet shows. It's so sweet," exclaimed Liner.
However, the swelling melodies and cacophonous sounds associated with the theater were originally intended to draw attention to the stage, as traditionally performances would take place in a large open area outside.
Today, besides many traditional repertoires, people have created hundreds of modern sketches which reflect everyday life or narrate foreign fairy tales to add some variety.
Some Vietnamese water puppet troupes have a repertoire named "Vo Tong da ho" (Wu Song fights a tiger). Wu Song is a fictional character in "Water Margin saucony grid 9000 italia ," one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, who kills a tiger with his bare hands.
The traditional art has proved popular with tourists. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater proudly said that its 250-seat theater has been full everyday.
However, maintaining the tradition is not necessarily that easy. "We are experiencing financial hardship. Our puppeteers have to do extra work to make ends meet," Nguyen Dang Dung, head of Dong Ngu Water Puppet Group in Thuan Thanh district, northern Bac Ninh province, told Xinhua on Thursday.
Recently, the top leader of Bac Ninh has assigned the provincial Department of Culture saucony shadow 5000 italia , Sports and Tourism to build an overall plan on developing Dong Ngu water puppetry which was born in the 11th century. The plan will be discussed by provincial authorities at their regular meeting in August 2017.
Local authorities in Hanoi's Dong Anh district, home to Dao Thuc Water Puppet Group, are also seeking ways to maintain and develop this art. "We are recruiting and training young puppeteers. Young people will make use of information technology more easily and conduct promotion campaigns more effectively," said Ngo Minh Phong, head of Dao Thuc Water Puppet Group.
The group currently has over 30 puppetry artists, with the eldest aged over 70, and the youngest being a grade student. Among the artists, over 20 puppeteers perform frequently saucony shadow 5000 uomo , almost daily. They are usually invited to traditional festivals for performance.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, the most developed professional puppet group, also went through difficulties in late 1980s when electronic media such as video and TV become common and puppetry and many other traditional performing arts faced a hard time.
Tickets would not sell, most of artists of the theater left their jobs and nine people who decided to stay had to work on the side to make ends meet. Thanks to their tireless efforts to revive the unique art, the theater performed monthly, then weekly and dai
SYDNEY, Feb. 23 (Xinh.