Jinan shadow puppet show


Li Juan, the fifth-generation inheritor of Jinan shadow play, introduces the craft. [Photo by Wang Qian/english.jinan.gov.cn]

Jinan's shadow puppets are part of Shandong's tradition of shadow puppetry, which has a history of 500 years. They are mainly found in Shandong, Hebei, Henan and Anhui province. Artist Zhang Shengwang from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) first created the art form. His student Li Ke'ao brought it to Jinan in 1915. The performer must control the movements of three to four puppets at the same time, in sync to music and singing. The show was added to the national intangible cultural heritage list in 2008.

Li Juan is a fifth-generation inheritor of the show. She has performed since the age of 15 years old and performed in countries such as Russia, the United Kingdom, France and Japan. She also holds classes at universities and primary schools, and continues to contribute to the innovation and protection of the art.

The Jinan shadow puppet show's scientific research institute focuses on the development of modern intangible cultural heritage. It has produced many shadow puppet show products that meet modern preferences, including modern plays and theaters. It welcomes 300,000 researchers every year.

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