Performing Arts -- Puppetry
String marionettes are the oldest and most common marionette puppet. Marionette shows are performed to drive evil spirits away or thank the gods. Traditionally, marionette performances are presented on the birthday of the Jade Emperor and that of the Three Great Emperors. Marionette presentations are also featured at the first birthday of a baby and the birthday of an elderly person. Marionette puppet shows are often regarded as a rite in reverence of the gods.
Historical Chinese novels are usually adapted for glove puppet shows. Glove puppets also known as bag puppets are the most popular theatrical form in Taiwan. Taiwan glove puppeteers can make their puppets perform martial arts tactics, somersaults, and other special movements.
In order to maintain its appeal to a gradually diminishing audience, puppetry has adjusted to new trends. The stage has been expanded and modified, and puppets have been enlarged. A wider variety of plays are presented with diverse themes and greater dramatic appeal. Also more appealing three-dimensional prop are used. Puppetry had been able to blend the spirit of traditional China with the latest technology and continues to play an important role in religious ceremonies and folk festivities.