Liang Dongxing shows how to perform puppet show at a training class. [Photo/Maoming News Network]
In November 1997, three Germany puppet experts came all the way to Gaozhou to watch the puppet shows performed by Liang Dongxing. In May 1999, they invited Liang to hold a one-month puppet show tour in 10 cities of Germany.
By far, there are about a dozen puppet solo performers left in Gaozhou. Liang has 3 young apprentices so he is much busier now. “It is the crafty achievement of generations, and some people, including me, still know how to perform. It is my mission to hand it down,” said he.
Apart from puppet solo, the scale of a troupe has been extended to four or eight performers. Such show needs larger puppets, more props and bigger stage. Musicians who play the erhu, drums and gongs often work with the troupe. The artists are quite professional.
Gaozhou puppet show is well-received at home and abroad. In recent years, Gaozhou puppet troupes were invited to perform all over the world. In 2006, the 400-hundred-year-old Gaozhou puppet show was inscribed in the first batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritage List.