B OOK R EVIEWS MARIONETTE THEATRE IN QUANZHOU. By Robin Ruizendaal. Sinica Leidensia 73, ed. by W. L. Idema. Netherlands: Brill, 2006. 470 pp. Hardcover. $150.00. ISBN-10: 90-04-15104-4; ISBN-13: 978-90-04151-04-8. Between 1991 and 1995, Robin Ruizendaal, a Sinologist who received his doctorate from Leiden University, conducted extensive fieldwork in southern China. Marionette theatre of the Fujian city of Quanzhou and its ritual function had previously received little scholarly attention in English. Nonnarrative, Chinese string puppetry, which emphasizes virtuosity in manipulation within a secular, "cabaret" performance context, is better known in the West. As Ruizendaal notes, with the exception of government functions featuring state troupes, most Quanzhou marionette performances take place as part of greater ritual events. Prior English articles describing narratives and religious functions of Chinese and Taiwanese string puppetry are usually brief. This study, based on Ruizendaal's dissertation, makes Quanzhou's tradition of ritual string puppetry available to a wide audience (along with associated genres in other parts of China and Taiwan). Organized thematically, the book examines diverse aspects of this marionette theatre. Chapters discuss the pre-Communist history of this theatre, manipulator training, plays (including both written scripts and ribald interludes improvised in the local dialect), stages, performance
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 26, 2007
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