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In small world, puppets bring big sense of mission

Updated: 2021-02-04

By Tan Yingzi and Deng Rui in Chongqing, chinadaily.com.cn

In small world, puppets bring big sense of mission

At Chongqing Liangjiang Movie City, the Little Bee Little People Art Troupe attracts the attention of residents with their shadow plays, as well as their touching life stories. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

At Chongqing Liangjiang Movie City, the Little Bee Little People Art Troupe has attracted the attention of residents over its superb performance of a shadow play and members' touching life stories.

The five members, 18 to 33 years old and all with dwarfism, come from Sichuan, Hebei, Shandong and Anhui provinces. Their average height is 1.28 meters, which is an advantage for performing a shadow play.

Shadow play, or shadow puppetry, is an ancient Chinese folk storytelling and entertainment form. It includes painting, paper-cutting, rap and opera. It uses flat articulated cut-out figures (the shadow puppets) which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen.

The art originated in Shaanxi province during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24) and is known as a "living fossil" of traditional Chinese culture.

Behind the translucent screen, the puppeteers, with their small figures, are less likely to cast their own shadows on the curtain. They move the flat cutouts nimbly in their hands to cast shadows on the backside. Their vivid play always appeals strongly to children, with its fascinating plot and lively music.

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