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Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Styles of puppet theatre Puppet theatre has been presented in many diverse styles and for many different kinds of audience. Throughout history, the chief of these has been the performance of folk or traditional plays to popular audiences.
The most familiar examples are the puppet shows that have grown up around a number of national or regional comic heroes who appear in a whole repertory of little plays. In England alone did this wide repertory of plays based on popular legend become limited to the one basic pattern of the Punch-and-Judy show.
At about the time of the French Revolutionat the end of the 18th century, a great many local puppet heroes displaced the descendants of Pulcinella throughout Europe: All these characters are glove puppets; many speak through a squeaker in the mouth of the performer that gives a piercing and unhuman timbre to their voices; and all indulge in the fights and other business typical of glove-puppet shows.
It is a mistake, however, to regard them all as the same character; they are distinct national types. Courtesy of the trustees of the Tate Britain, London; photograph, A. The dramatic material in which these popular puppets play is sometimes biblical, sometimes based on folk tales, and sometimes from heroic sagas.
In Asia the same tradition of partly religious and partly legendary sources provides scope technical writing and literary writing styles repertory for the puppet theatres. The chief of these are the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, which provide the basic plots for the puppet theatres of southern India and of Indonesia.
A puppet-style modern dance-drama based on the Ramayana, originally produced and choreographed by Shanti Bardhan, c. Mohan Khokar In distinction to these essentially popular shows, the puppet theatre has, at certain periods of history, provided a highly fashionable entertainment.
From the s to the s several Italian companies attracted fashionable audiences and the commendation of Samuel Johnson. In Italy a magnificent puppet theatre was established in the Palace of the Chancellery in Rome infor which Alessandro Scarlattiwith other eminent composers, composed operas.
The Italian scene designer Antonio Bibiena painted the scenery for a marionette theatre belonging to a young Bolognese prince, which performed in London in Exquisite Venetian marionette theatres preserved in the Bethnal Green Museum in London and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City indicate the elegance of these fashionable puppet theatres of the 18th century.
During the 18th century English writers began to turn to the puppet theatre as a medium, chiefly for satire. The novelist Henry Fielding presented a satiric puppet show, under the pseudonym of Madame de la Nash, in The caustic playwright and actor Samuel Foote used puppets to burlesque heroic tragedy in and sentimental comedy in In a similar vein, the dramatist Charles Dibdin presented a satiric puppet revue inand a group of Irish wits ran the Patagonian Theatre in London from to with a program of ballad operas and literary burlesques.
In France there was a great vogue for the puppet theatre among literary men during the second half of the 19th century. This seems to have begun with the theatre created in at Nohant by George Sand and her son Maurice, who wrote the plays; well over a hundred plays were produced during a period of 30 years.
These productions were purely for guests at the house; they are witty, graceful, and whimsical. Some years later another artistic dilettante conceived the idea of presenting a literary puppet show, but this time for the public; Louis Duranty opened his theatre in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris inbut it lacked popular appeal and did not survive in its original form for very long.
The moving spirit, however, was Lemercier de Neuville, who went on to create a personal puppet theatre that played in drawing rooms all over France until nearly the end of the century. All these literary puppet theatres in France had made use of hand puppets, while the English literary puppeteers of the previous century had used marionettes.
Another type of puppet was introduced to Paris in when Henri Signoret founded the Little Theatre; this theatre used rod puppets mounted on a base that ran on rails below the stage, the movement of the limbs being controlled by strings attached to pedals. The plays presented were pieces by classic authors—Cervantes, Aristophanes, Shakespeare—and new plays by French poets.
The Little Theatre, like all the 19th-century French literary puppet theatres, performed infrequently to small audiences in a bohemian milieu; as a movement, this literary enthusiasm for the puppet theatre had little popular influence, but it served as a witness to the potential qualities of puppet theatre.
The puppet theatre in Japan entered literature with the plays of Chikamatsu Monzaemon — This writer, known as the Shakespeare of Japan, took the form of the existing crude Japanese puppet dramas and developed it into a great art form with over a hundred pieces, many of which remain in the repertoire of the bunraku theatre today.
One of its most illustrious teachers, the Swiss painter Paul Kleecreated figures of great interest for a home puppet theatre, and others designed marionettes that reflected the ideas of Cubism.
The eminent English man of the theatre Gordon Craig campaigned vigorously for the puppet as a medium for the thoughts of the artist. The marionettes of the Art Puppet Theatre in Munich, for instance, were striking exemplars of the German tradition in deeply cut wood carving.
In Austria the Salzburg Marionette Theatre specializes in Mozart operas and has achieved a high degree of naturalism and technical expertise.
Yves Joly stripped the art of the puppet to its bare essentials by performing hand puppet acts with his bare hands, without any puppets. The same effect was achieved by the Russian puppeteer Sergey Obraztsov with a performance of charm and wit that was quite different from those of the great rod-puppet theatre that he founded.
Jan Bussell, with the Hogarth Puppets, achieved an international reputation with his marionette ballets and light operas. Other permanent puppet theatres have been established in Birmingham and Norwich and at Biggar near Edinburgh.
She later directed plays for Tony Sargwho became the most important influence in American puppetry, with such large-scale marionette plays as Rip Van Winkle, The Rose and the Ring, and Alice in Wonderland.ARABIC [back to top]. ARA Beginning Arabic I 4 cr. Introduces understanding, speaking, reading, and writing skills, and emphasizes basic Arabic sentence structure.
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