Puppet show on Chinese folklore mesmerises Noida students | noida | Hindustan Times
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Puppet show on Chinese folklore mesmerises Noida students

The Paper Monkey Theatre, a five-member group from Singapore that includes decorated director Benjamin Ho-Kah-Wai, was in Noida on Friday to perform ‘The Magic Lantern’ in front of the students of Shiv Nadar International School.

noida Updated: Feb 24, 2018 18:05 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times
Chinese folklore,Paper Monkey Theatre,Singapore
An artiste from the Paper Monkey Theatre group used ‘hand and rod’ puppets to perform ‘The Magical Lantern’ play at Shiv Nadar International School in Noida on Friday.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

Love and family values were the lessons that Noida students learnt from a puppet show on a Chinese folklore laced with magic and mysticism, which was performed by a Singapore-based theatre group on Friday morning in the city.

The Paper Monkey Theatre, a five-member group from Singapore that includes decorated director Benjamin Ho-Kah-Wai, was in Noida on Friday to perform ‘The Magic Lantern’ in front of the students of Shiv Nadar School.

In a spell-binding performance that lasted 45 minutes, the artistes’ depicted the story of Chen Xiang, the protagonist, who fights his way to release his abducted mother Shengmu from the mighty Er Lang Shen.

“This play is about a mother’s love for her child and when the child grows up, they reciprocate that love. These are Asian family values and despite cultural differences between so many countries in Asia, these values continue to exist among our families. Today, we see that families are breaking apart and in such times, it is important that children must be told through art form about our culture,” said 50-year-old Benjamin.

According to an old Chinese legend, Shengmu, an immortal goddess, escaped from her heavenly abode with a magical lantern and later married a mortal man. Together, they had a child named Chen and the family lived happily until the mighty Er Lang Shen separated the couple and abducted Shengmu. Later, when Chen gets to know about his family, he battles his way through harsh weather and other adversities.

Four artists of the theatre group used puppets playing as characters and narrated the folklore through the ‘rod and hand’ method which left the audience mesmerised. The play also had instances of use of magic and mysticism of Chinese mythology. Later, Benjamin also entertained the students with his puppet tricks.

“In this art form, thumb and last three fingers of a hand are used to enact the characters. This art form is found in China for a long period of time,” said Benjamin.

On the question of importance of art and cultural exchange between different nationalities, Benjamin said, “It is important that such plays are witnessed by audiences of different nationalities so that despite differences in cultures, we can find common values.”

Students said they had a great time, enjoying the puppet show where they were mesmerised over the challenges faced by Chen and the manner in which he overcame them.

“This story taught us that with love, will power and dedication, one can cross all barriers. We really liked the show,” said Rhea Chaddha, a Class 5 student of Shiv Nadar School.

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 23:43 IST