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There was a time when puppetry was a common art form, but we get to see less of this theatrical display these days. Thankfully, we’ll once again be able to enjoy the beauty of puppetry thanks to Pusaka.
Pusaka has teamed up with Publika to present its first Pusaka Evenings event for the year that will showcase a Teochew puppetry performance by the Kim Giak Low Choon Teochew Puppetry Troupe from Penang.
The Teochew puppetry show will be held at the Black Box in Publika, Solaris Dutamas from 5pm to 6pm for the talk, followed by the performance from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on February 21 (Sunday).
Pusaka Evenings is a series of cultural evenings that will feature authentic traditional performances from throughout Malaysia and the shows are free and open to all.
The Kim Giak Low Choon Teochew Puppetry Troupe is the last remaining troupe of its kind in Penang and it is led by master puppeteer Ling Goh, who is also a third-generation traditional Chinese opera performer.
Teochew Puppetry is a rare form of puppetry that narrates folk tales and legends through a skilful play of marionette puppets. It is a more traditional and challenging form of opera, requiring fast and fluid animation of puppets to imitate human-like gestures.
Traditionally, puppetry troupes consist of nine members divided into groups of three to handle puppets, sing and play musical instruments that include gongs, drums, er hu and cymbals..
It takes two to three weeks to create each puppet, all hand-crafted from wood, clay and paper. Each puppet can easily weigh several kilogrammes each. The puppets are controlled by iron-rods attached to the back and limbs.
The troupe will be performing “The Love of the Celestial Fox”, which is a love story about a thousand-year-old celestial fox named Lotus who falls in love with Sangsheng after descending to the mortal realm. The performance will be preceded by a talk by Goh.