The remarkable dexterity of Burmese puppeteers was first noted by Western observers in the latter half of the eighteenth century. Unfortunately, because of the language barrier, these observers were only able to report on the visual aspect of a performance and so missed out on the elegantly composed songs and courtly dialogue of the amazingly lifelike characters. Although the puppet theatre in Burma became a vehicle for state propaganda, it was also employed by the people to criticize the misuse of power. eThought to date from the twelfth century, it grew rapidly in popularity and by 1820 was considered superior to other forms of entertainment. So great was its influence that the movements of the puppets continue to be copied by dancers of today. The rich cultural and religion background of Burma provided playwrights with ample opportunity to produce a large number of plays. It was a male dominated profession, with men vocalists playing the part of females. Emphasis was placed on the quality of the dialogue and the puppets became secondary. This trend was reversed and by 1900, due to competition from the live theatre, manipulatory techniques achieved amazing results. In this book, Singer describes the customs, regulations, and changing patterns of this art form, and the efforts being made by the few remaining troupes to keep the tradition alive.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
A Puppet Troupe
A Puppet Performance
1 other sections not shown
Ahpyodaw Albert Museum appeared audience backdrop bamboo became began Belu demon black elephant Buddha Buddhist Burmese Puppets called characters claimed Colour Plate costumes Dagon Dagon Nat Shin dance decorated dialogue dressed early feet female dancers form of entertainment four ministers front gilded thaing Henry Yule Himawunta horse human Jataka kalaga Khin Myo Chit king known kyar-yat Late nineteenth century live theatre Lower Burma Mandalay manipulator marionette stage Mindon Mintha and Minthamee Mintha prince Minthamee princess Minthamee vocalist monkey movements musicians Myingyan nat spirit night Nyaungyan Dynasty orchestra original Pagan Pagoda paintings palace Pitt Rivers Museum poles popular puppet stage puppet theatre puppet troupe puppetry Rangoon religious role Sagaing Saya second half sequence sequins Shwebo songs South-East Asia spirit medium strings symbol Thabin Wun Thar Pyaw theatrical Theebaw Thein Naing tiger traditional Upper Burma Victoria and Albert villain wand writers Wun Minister yaza-mat Yoke-thay Zawgyi