Water Puppet

If you are ever in Hanoi , staying in New Vision Hotel ( Www.NewVisionHotel.Com ) , it will be regretful to miss the Water Puppet Theater - even if you think you are not a puppet kind of person. Water Puppets literally means “puppets that dance on the water”. This show is not just geared for kids, but meant to delight adult as well.

Newvision hotel in hanoi 

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  • Vietnamese  Water Puppet originated from the Red River Delta of Vietnam in the tenth  century. Some of the earliest troupes are in Nguyên Xá commune, Đông Hưng  district, Thai Binh province. Water puppetry is deeply imbued with the cultural  characteristics of the people of this area. This unique art first appeared  around the 15th century, when post-harvest, artists who were also farmers would  gather to perform and relax. The custom remains today in many localities in the  Red River Delta such as Dao Thuc, Phu Da, Dong Ca, Nguyen Xa, Dong Ngu, Nhan  Hoa and Nam Chan.
  • In  ancient Vietnam,  the rural Vietnamese believed that spirits controlled all aspects of their  life, from the kitchen to the rice paddies. That is the reason why the farmers  in this region devised a form of entertainment and worship to satisfy these  spirits. Water puppetry is the lively creation of farmers who spent their days  in flooded rice fields. At some point, they discovered that the water was an  excellent medium for puppetry: it not only concealed the puppeteers' rod and  string mechanisms, but it also provided exciting effects like waves and splashes.

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  • When  water puppetry became more popular, villages competed against each other with  their puppet shows. This led puppet societies to be secretive and exclusive,  including an initiation ceremony that involved drinking rooster blood.
  • So  far this art form has been unique to North Vietnam. Tourists can enjoy  this kind of art all days in a week at Thang Long Puppet Theatre, which is the  most well known one in Ha Noi.

  Performance :

  • For  over a thousand years, performers in Vietnamese Water Puppet Theater’s feet  have always suffered in cold and wet condition. Water puppetry is performed in  a chest-deep pool of water, with the water's surface as a stage. The puppeteers  stand behind a screen and control the puppets using long bamboo rods and string  mechanism hidden beneath the water surface.
  • The  puppet is carved out of wood and often weighs up to 15 kg. A large rod supports  the puppet under the water and is used by the puppeteers to control them. The  appearance is of the puppets moving over the water. The puppets enter from  either side of the stage, or emerge from the murky depths of the water. In the  past when the rice fields were flooded the villagers would entertain each other  using this puppet form.
  •  A  traditional Vietnamese orchestra provides background music accompaniment.  Singers of Cheo (a form of opera) with origin in North Vietnam sing the songs which  tell the story being acted out by the puppets. Performances of up to 18 short  scenes are usually introduced by a pig-tailed bumpkin known as Teu, and  accompanied by a small folk orchestra. The musicians and the puppets interact  during performance; the musicians may yell a word of warning to a puppet in  danger or a word of encouragement to a puppet in need.
  •   Along  with singing the atmosphere, while the decorations set the stage for each  particula, traditional musical instruments like drums, wooden bells, cymbals,  horns, two-string Chinese violins and flutes create r style of water puppetry.  Researcher Nguyen Huy Hong believes that water puppetry combines sculpture,  architecture, painting, music, stage and literature.

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 Content :
  • The theme of the skits is  rural and has a strong reference to Vietnamese folklore. It tells of day-to-day  living in rural Vietnam  and Vietnamese folk tales that are told older generation to younger generation.  Of which stories of the harvest, of fishing and of festivals are highlighted.
  • The water also provides the  best setting for the puppeteers' theme: day-to-day village life. Water puppets  bring wry humor to scenes of farming, fishing, festival events such as buffalo  fights, and children's games of marbles and coin-toss. Fishing turns into a  game of wits between the fisherman and his prey, with the fisherman getting the  short end (often capturing his surprised neighbor by mistake). Besides village  life, scenes include legends and national history. Lion dogs romp like puppies  while dragons exhale smoke and shoot sprays of water at the audience. Teu, a  pig-tailed bumpkin, is the character who usually plays the role of introducing  the performances. 
  • The introduction is always accompanied by a small folk  orchestra. Spotlights and colorful flags adorn the stage and create a festive  atmosphere. Legends and national history  are also told through short skits. Many of the skits, especially those  involving the tales of day-to-day living, often have a humorous twist.
  • Water puppetry has always  gone hand in hand with festivals. Each Lunar March 13, Bo Duong villagers hold  village festival to commemorate their tutelary god. Aside from worship, the  festival is also an opportunity for villagers to relax by watching water  puppetry, taking in fireworks displays, flying kites and entering cock-fighting  contests. The festival always attracts thousands of attendants. Village  festivals are great wind down for farmers and artists alike.

Booking Office : 
There are 2 kind of ticket : 
First Class : 100.000 VND /  1 Ticket 
Second Class : 80.000 VND /  1 Ticket 
For more information or  booking ,  kinldy contact us at :

-----------New Vision Hotel   ---------

  Add: 68 C -70 Hang Bo Str, Hoan Kiem Dist , Ha Noi Capital , Viet Nam 
  Tel  : + 84 4 3 9234132   Fax : + 84  4 3 9234133 ; 
Email      : Info@NewVisionHotel.Com   Web : Www.NewVisionHotel.Com

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