The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi has its roots in an artwork shape that dates returned to the 11th century. The tradition of water puppet theatre stems from a time when rice paddy fields have been flooded and villagers might make amusement by using standing inside the waist-deep water with the puppets appearing over the water.
This way of life is particular to North Vietnam but has recently determined reputation on tiers all over the world; so it’s an unprecedented threat to peer the puppets carry out of their authentic vicinity at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Performances are followed by using a Vietnamese orchestra playing a conventional song using drums, timber bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals. There are also authentic Vietnamese operatic songs telling the story that is being acted out via the puppets. Most of the indicates recount Vietnamese folk memories and legends with topics which include the birthday party of the rice harvest depicted in a funny fashion.
Water Puppet Theatre Highlights at this modern theatre are executed in a pool of water for the puppets. The puppets are managed by no more than eight puppeteers hiding behind a bamboo display screen. The renowned Thang Long Water Puppet show is considered to be one of the cultural highlights of Northern Vietnam relationship lower back to a culture that first began within the Red River Delta.
Today’s performances commonly consist of some of the quick sketches rather than one long story, taking the target audience on an adventure of historic village life, agricultural harvests and dances of mythical creatures. Most indicates also feature the famous Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le which tells the tale of Hoan Kiem Lake and the massive tortoise. The live song performs an imperative a part of the show with singers often shouting phrases of encouragement to the puppets.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the most popular traveller points of interest in Hanoi with tickets promoting out properly in advance so it’s worth reserving yours as soon as you arrive on the town. It is also really helpful to pay extra to get toward the action as the theatre seats a few hundred humans and the puppets are not that massive. The theatre is contemporary and commonly shows 17 short sketches inside a one-hour performance.
The theatre itself isn't traditional—shows were once performed in rice paddies—and some bells and whistles had been delivered these days, but otherwise, the hour-long show is the real deal, with stay traditional track thrown in as nicely.
Water puppetry in Vietnam is documented as far returned because of the status quo of Thang Long (Hanoi) as the capital of the country 1,000 years ago, although it may have existed even earlier than this. After 1010, legend has it that gone through a strong period, with no wars, and handicrafts have been capable of flourish. At the equal time, gala's and ceremonies became popular, presenting an opportunity for artists to perform puppet indicates both on land and water.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, at the northeastern financial institution of Hoan Kiem Lake, is really no longer 1,000 years old, nor harking back to the conventional environment wherein water puppet suggests might have taken vicinity, however in case you want to look at this artwork shape it’s clean available, moderately priced and a true overall performance.
The theatre is more secure than we don't forget from the primary visit we made a decade in the past; we’re sure that in those days the seats had been timber benches, prone to sending your bum to sleep. Now the corridor boasts rows of fashionable theatre-fashion, green-cushioned chairs, with a "pond" at the front as opposed to a stage.
The show starts with a brief musical composition on traditional contraptions, performed by the small orchestra to the aspect of the pond; it’s added in Vietnamese and English and then the puppet performances begin with a prelude through clown Tue, a humorous searching puppet with sprouting hair.
WHAT ARE VIETNAMESE WATER PUPPETS?
Rural folk in the Red Delta place have loved energetic performances of Vietnamese water puppets for the reason that 11th century. The traditional art shape became at the starters finished in flooded rice fields as a means for tough-operating villagers to loosen up and get away the harshness of everyday existence.
The indicates depict factors of traditional rural existence and are a critical technique of handing down tales to the subsequent technology. The puppets, which are made from wood and are waterproofed with lacquer, are controlled by using skilled puppeteers status in waist deep water the usage of hidden apparatus to create the phantasm the figures are dancing on the water’s surface.
A minimum of three years of training is required to master the art and in days long gone through father’s could only teach their sons because it was feared that sharing with their daughters would suggest that the secrets and techniques might be misplaced if they married outdoor of the village. I’m pleased to mention this is now not the case and throughout our visit, a number of the puppeteers hiding backstage have been women. Despite the waterproofing, the puppets only have an existence span of approximately four months when they're used each day and want to be often changed. Each performance is accompanied via traditional Vietnamese folks tune from live band gambling drums, cymbals, timber bells, horns and bamboo flutes.
THANG LONG WATER PUPPET THEATRE HANOI
In current Vietnam, site visitors now not want to move to the communal ponds of the northern villages to enjoy this ancient art shape. These days many cities have purpose-constructed theatres and the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi is arguably the maximum well-known of them all. Until the 1960’s Vietnamese water puppets were in large part unknown outdoor of northern Vietnam.
The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre turned into hooked up in Hanoi in 1969 and locals and traffic alike streamed via the doors to revel in this most curious of Vietnamese traditions. The master puppeteers from the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre took their show on the road and have performed masses of cultural excursions during the world along with in Switzerland, Japan and America.
It is by way of a long way one of the maximum famous attractions in Hanoi and tickets promote out properly in advance. Thang Long is smack bang in the middle of the historic city and only a brief walk from the Red Bean restaurant in which we enjoyed a fabulous meal.
BUYING TICKETS TO THANG LONG WATER PUPPET THEATRE
There are two ways to secure yourself the most up to date tickets in town; spend hours queuing up yourself for a good deal price tag or pay a bit greater and get a person else to do it for you. Should you chose to do it yourself, honestly show up to the price ticket sales space on the front of the theatre and take your possibilities with the loads.
If you chose this feature, it is distinctly likely that you'll now not be able to cosy tickets for the identical day. Tickets from the booth will set you back just VND 100,000 (approx AUD$5.50, USD$4.40 or GBP£3.30). Or you could do what I did and book your tickets in advance through Viator. You will pay a bit extra (approx AUD$14, USD$11 or GBP£8) but you will now not spend a minute in line and your tickets could be hand introduced to your hotel.
A VIP price tag will assure you a seat inside the first four rows of the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. We had been fortunate that our preferred tickets took place to be in row E, just in the back of the VIP’s, however, if I had my time once more I might have splurged the more AID$6 for the upgrade. The show is going for more or less an hour and there are 4 shows every day; 4.10pm, 5.20pm, 6.30pm and 8.00pm.
The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre became a short stroll from the Hanoi Glance Hotel in which we stayed. We left ourselves plenty of time and were seated in seat E12/thirteen quickly and correctly. As we waited for the theatre to fill a rat ran through the stalls and underneath theft of some of the visitors which created havoc. It did unsettle me and I stored a cautious eye at the ground after that. As the theatre lights went down and the level lighting fixtures began to glow a hush descended over the gang before the first haunting strains of the band pierced the silence.
It wasn’t long earlier than the celebrities of the show made their grand entrance. While conventional suggests frequently inform a tale in the collection, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre features a series of short skits with varying themes which include the dragon’s dance, catching frogs, fishing and the 8 fairies dance. While every tale is narrated completely in Vietnamese, it's far feasible to get the gist and there had been many funny moments that transcend language. The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre puts a current spin on the traditional art via incorporating dramatic lighting fixtures and special effects. Keep your eyes peeled for the fire consequences.
THE FINAL WORD
It has been said which you haven’t actually visited Vietnam if you haven’t skilled an overall performance of the well-known Vietnamese water puppets. I become hopeful after I booked that the overall performance could offer the authentic enjoy I craved and could no longer be watered right down to appease the hordes of travellers. I loved the short display tons more than I became anticipating and I was amazed to locate that the substantial majority of the target audience was Vietnamese.