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An Introduction to Chinese Shadow Theatre with Dr. Fan Pen Chen

Join the China Institute for an introductory lecture about Chinese Shadow Theatre, delivered by Dr. Fan Pen Chen.

February 23, 2020 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Chinese shadow performance has a history going back 2000 years.  The traditional shadow theater uses beautifully carved and colored animal-skin figures, manipulated behind cloth screens to portray vivid episodes from history, religion, literature and folktale. In this talk Dr. Fan Pen Chen, an internationally recognized expert on the Chinese Shadow Theatre, will introduce the history of and the social functions served by the genre. She will also share personally recorded rare footage of the shadow puppet making process and excerpts of a variety of shadow plays.   

The talk will be preceded by a shadow theater workshop with Chinese Theatre Works.

Dr. Fan Pen Chen (Associate Professor at SUNY-Albany) has published Chinese Shadow Theatre: History, Popular Religion, & Women Warriors; Visions for the Masses: Chinese Shadow Plays from Shaanxi and Shanxi; Marionette Plays from Northern China; and Journey of a Goddess.

This program is part of the “The Art of Chinese New Year” project. “The Art of Chinese New Year” is a vibrant, interactive experience where visitors of all ages can explore the Chinese New Year holiday and the traditional visual and performing arts related to it. Through displays, artist workshops, and hands-on activities visitors will learn about nianhua (New Year pictures), spring couplets, papercutting, shadow theater, and lion dances — all capturing the sights and sounds of the most important holiday and festival in China.

Event Fees:


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