Today, the town of Qibao celebrates their cultural heritage and works to preserve the past traditions of Shadow Play that are such an important aspect of the town’s history. Though the Chinese government does help to keep these valuable traditions alive through various forms of support, it is the local puppeteers and their apprentices who really ensure that the art of Shadow Play lives on. If you want to discover the folk culture along your China tours, watching the Qibao Shadow Play is a good option for you.
An eighth generation shadow puppeteer, Mr Chu, is currently the head of the Qibao Shadow Play troupe. Mr Chu values the history and culture that surrounds the art, believing shadow play to be one of the seven cultural treasures in the Qibao area. Many students particularly like to watch the Qibao Shadow Play when their student tours to China come to Qibao.
Growing up in the small town of Qibao, Mr. Chu became interested in shadow puppetry very early in his life and began his apprenticeship as a puppeteer. During his interview, he discussed how watching an old artist who did Shadow Play was an integral part of his learning process. Many China tour operators have arranged the Qibao Shadow Play in their itinerary in order to enrich the travel experience of their travelers.
While the aesthetic design of the shadow plays is important, the narrative elements of the show promote intangible meaning and value. Described by Chu as “painting with motion”, Shadow Play is the combination of many different arts. The incorporation of movement with the intricately designed figures makes Shadow Play much like an animation. Apart from the visual qualities of shadow puppetry, the plays also have dialogue, instruments, and opera music – it is a combination of folk art and opera. Why not book the affordable China tour package of folk culture discovery to see the interesting Qibao Shadow Play? You would be rewarded more than expected!
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