The Water Puppet Show in Hanoi is something special because one finds water puppet theaters only in Vietnam.
The operators of the dolls which move these over 3 to 4 m long bars are hidden behind a bamboo curtain. The puppets move above a water surface, the bars are hidden in the water. About wire rope hoist one can move an individual doll or more dolls simultaneously. Artistic movements are performed, sometimes really acrobatic.
Popular scenes originate from the country life or deal with Vietnamese legends. The legend of the town foundation of Hanoi included. A special sword was handed over by the gods to king Le Loi, with which he drove the Chinese from Vietnam . During a boat trip on the Hoan-Kiem lake, a golden turtle stole the sword to give it back to the gods. The scenes are embellished with firework, smoke and colored illumination . In addition, mythical creatures and fire spitting dragon must not be missing.
In Hanoi there are two such theaters. We visit the ROI Nước Bông Sen at the junction of Hang Trong and Le Thai To.
At the end of the presentation we realize that 9 operators are all the time in the waist-deep water.
A small orchestra accompanies the performance and the members give each dolls her voice.
We also learn that the actors are students who want to preserve the Vietnamese cultural heritage.
We enjoyed this unusual experience very much.
Another water puppet theater can be found in Ho Chi Minh City.
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