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TIGER AND CRANE: AN EXHIBITION OF 21ST CENTURY SHADOW PUPPETRY

SHADOW PUPPETRY is a story-telling technique that dates back to the emperor’s court during the Han dynasty (202BC-220AD). Made with pieces of dyed donkey leather and fine threading, puppets were crafted to play with light, creating colors, silhouettes, and motion to share the rich stories of Chinese culture and history. Music, provided by instruments or voice, was used to accompany the Storyteller’s words, which are told to the audience from behind a paper-partitioned screen, and add to the dynamic expression of the puppets. The spread of this fanciful art occurred as the Mongol empire expanded from the lands of China throughout Asia, Persia, and Turkey. By the 17th century, Shadow puppetry was debuting in France, and by the 1920s, Americans were delighting in stories told through this creative and magical art form.

Modern day shadow puppets have evolved, as artists have so many new materials to manipulate for transparency, color, structure, and movement. Plastics, colored film, cardstock, metals, are all materials that can be used to create the 21st century puppet.

The art of story telling with shadow puppets, however, has not changed too much. While the tales, materials, and music may be reflective of our present-day culture, the charm and beauty of the puppet’s shadow behind the screen still transports the audience to a time past.

$5 Members and $8 Non-members

 

  Ritu Nanos  , AKKA Karate Westport School Director, has used Shadow Puppet story telling as an inspiration for collaborative performing arts. For the last four Chinese New Years, Ritu has created stories that wind the animals of the Chinese zodiac with eastern philosophy, as well as the animal styles, attitudes and movements that are inherent to Martial Arts. Artists Trace Shapiro, Marianne Eppelheimer, Kris Miller, and Christy Schee, have created unique and intricate shadow puppets using materials of cardstock, colored film, paint, dowel rods and pins, for each story. With the accompaniment of music, and Ritu’s magical words, the stories are brought to life by weaving the movements of the puppet’s shadows with the performance of martial artists into a tale for the eyes, ears, and heart.   

Ritu Nanos, AKKA Karate Westport School Director, has used Shadow Puppet story telling as an inspiration for collaborative performing arts. For the last four Chinese New Years, Ritu has created stories that wind the animals of the Chinese zodiac with eastern philosophy, as well as the animal styles, attitudes and movements that are inherent to Martial Arts. Artists Trace Shapiro, Marianne Eppelheimer, Kris Miller, and Christy Schee, have created unique and intricate shadow puppets using materials of cardstock, colored film, paint, dowel rods and pins, for each story. With the accompaniment of music, and Ritu’s magical words, the stories are brought to life by weaving the movements of the puppet’s shadows with the performance of martial artists into a tale for the eyes, ears, and heart.
 

Earlier Event: March 9
RIVERFRONT READING SERIES
Later Event: March 12
Blue Monday at The Uptown ArtsBar