Shandong Taishan Shadow Puppetry

(| Updated : 2018-12-20

Print Print


[This video is provided by the Information Office of the Shandong Provincial Government.]   

While other regional puppet shows employ an entire troupe, in Shandong, it's one man's talent that drives the entire performance. 

The show starts and gongs and drums sound backstage. Other instruments join the chorus, each different but all in harmony. The shadow puppets appear next, and fierce fighting and acrobatic moves earn applause from the audience.

With such action on stage and a coordinated orchestra backstage, it's natural to assume that there are several performers backstage making it all work.

But this is a one-man show.

The only hero backstage is Fan Zheng'an, a sixth-generation practitioner of the Shandong, Taishan art of solo puppetry. The uniqueness of this art form is best summed up by its other moniker: shi bu xian, literally "busy doing 10 things at once".