Traditional Chinese Puppet Show

The traditional Chinese puppet show is, alongside Sanskrit and Ancient Greek, one of the world’s three ancient performance arts. It has more than 2000 years history, and has been listed as a national cultural heritage in China since 2006.

The Chinese Puppet Show breaks down borders, as there is no language barrier to enjoyment. Its performance is expressed through movement and body language. It is visual, entertaining, and educational.

The Puppet Performing Unit at Jiangsu Performing Arts Group, keeps alive this Chinese National Cultural Heritage, and has held puppet show workshops successfully in almost 400 schools in China and abroad. 

Ms. Hong XU, the leader of the Puppet Performing Unit, is the leading performing artist of the show. She is a National First Class Performer and member of International Puppet Association and has received a UNESCO world heritage award for her art.

Here is the agenda of the workshop:

–   Introduction to Chinese Puppet Arts by famous puppet performing artist Ms. Hong XU

–  Video presentation of various traditional puppet performances.

–   Get interactive! Audience are invited to the stage, to play puppets by learning different skills, and have hands-on experience to join in the fun.

–  Live puppet show. There will be Drawing/calligraphy by a ‘left-handed’ puppet,  a traditional long-sleeve dance by puppets and performing artists, and face changing and fire breathing puppets.

【Time】May 18th,2018 (Friday) 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

【Venue】Atrium Hall,  Netherhall Sports Centre, Queen Ediths Way, Cambridge, CB18NN

【Price】3 pounds for child (below 10 years old), 5 pounds for adult

【To buy ticket】


1)    Long Sleeves Dance by Chinese Goddess of the Moon, Chang E

Can you imagine a puppet, less than a metre in height, dressed up in a pretty traditional Chinese silk dress with over 10 metres long sleeves dance gracefully?  It is not easy to achieve by very experienced dancers let alone by a puppeteer!

2)    A Puppet Painter & Calligrapher

Have you seen a puppet write and paint? In the show the puppet will write and paint with its left hand. Yes, not right hand.  It is extremely difficult to achieve and requires highly specialised skill from the performers.

3)    Leisure Activities in the Spring

Represented by a number of lifelike puppets,some dancing around, some strolling in the forest, and some even playing ping pong. The show was madly loved in previous performances worldwide

4)    The Tortoise & the Crane

What about a Tortoise and Crane race? Each expressing its own individuality and personality, yet both confident, competitive, fearless and standing firmly on their own ground. In the end, the not so majestic tortoise, against all odds, bested the arrogant crane.

5)    Hula

Can puppets do Hula? Yes. It can. Originated
from the Hawaiian dance, puppets will show their soft bodies. The beautiful and lively dance movements are infectious!

6)    The Sluggard and the Fly

How a puppet will react when its sweet dream is disturbed? A sluggard threw melon skins around and attracted a swarm of flies hovering above him whilst he was asleep, his beautiful dream being annoyingly disturbed! This show involves a lot of funny movements and some great sense of humour. 
It was reported as the most loved program by the audience according to the local Chinese newspaper in Chile.

7)    Wu Song Beats the Tiger–A new version

Tiger puppet? Yes. Puppet can be a tiger! Based on the story from one of the four most famous Chinese classics, ‘Water Margin’, the puppeteers utilize both traditional and modern skills to express the impression of a fearless Chinese hero named Wu Song and at the same time to reflect the sense of humour of the tiger to the full!

8)    Interaction

Now you probably have had many questions and wonder how those fantastic performances are achieved? Our artists will tell you the secrets and also a brief introduction to the history, plus some general knowledge of puppeteering will be given. The audience will be invited to get some hands-on experience of some basic skills of puppet performance.

9)    Face Changing of Sichuan Opera

How you heard you of Face Changing as quick as a blink?  Maybe you have seen or heard of it. We will show this can be done by puppets. Even oldest Chinese Opera: traditional stunts of Sichuan Opera. Nothing you can afford missing!

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