Yeung Faï, the last descendant of a dynasty of puppeteers (five generations and several centuries of manipulation), tirelessly practices his art, becoming the undisputed master of Chinese glove puppets. This puppet allows very elaborate acrobatic movements, which include all types of pirouettes, also remembering the proximity, in China, between the performing arts and the martial arts. Practicing Chinese glove puppetry can be comparable to using a circus apparatus and involves intense physical effort.
Thanks to his virtuosity and technical mastery, Yeung Faï is able to express with great precision the state of mind, temperament and feelings of the characters he manipulates. His puppets become true acrobats, whose combats are punctuated by jumps, somersaults and other impressive feats.
At Teatro São Luiz, a practical workshop to introduce the technique of manipulating Chinese glove puppets takes place, from traditional and contemporary perspectives. During this training, puppets by master Yeung Faï will be used.
For: Puppeteers, actors, dancers, circus artists, directors, visual artists, performing and visual arts students
Number of Participants: 12
Deadline for applications: 5 December 2023
The participants should bring: Movement-clothes for warm-up exercises.
Admittance in order of registration after payment.
INFO AND REGISTRATIONS
The registration in the workshop is made by the duly filled application form in Google Forms or in doc file – in this case it must be send to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The program of this workshop includes the acquisition of knowledge about the history of Chinese glove puppet theater, focusing mainly on the practical component, which includes several warm-up exercises for the body, fingers and hands:
- exercises to develop the finger muscles of hand joint flexibility;
- fingering and hand expression when manipulating glove puppets or working with bare hands;
- puppet movements, such as walking and jumping; passing the puppet from hand to hand; awareness of its weight; building a character and staging fights or other dramatic exercises.
PROJETO FUNICULAR An international training project on Puppetry by CAMa – Centro de Artes da Marioneta / A Tarumba | With the support of São Luiz Teatro Municipal
“In our family, there have only been two professions for generations: puppeteer and teacher (…).
Nowadays, there’s no-one in our family who does puppet shows any more. Puppetry is the art of our family and I don’t want it to disappear after me (…).
The audience is not very familiar with the art of puppetry. They often think that manipulating and performing with puppets is something very simple. As a result, they don’t see puppetry as an art form. However, this classic art requires a long apprenticeship. It’s the desire to make this art known that gives me the pleasure of passing it on.
The art of puppetry combines gesture and movement with painting, sculpture and other knowledge (…).
Chinese glove puppetry requires great rigour, gymnastics similar to classical dance. The elasticity of the hands is fundamental: the phalanges, the separation of the index finger from the other fingers – the index finger carries the puppet’s head and must be able to stay straight. But it’s the correspondence between the puppet’s movements and the puppeteer’s breathing that requires the most work.
At the beginning, I give the students a good basis, acquired through exercises, a grammar of the fingers and hands.
I pass on what I’ve learnt myself.
It takes time for the students to overcome this first stage of learning, and then I can give them what is mine alone: the power of theatre, the nature of breathing, the sensitivity of life, rhythm, and in a way, the art of the actor.”
– Yeung Faï, Manip – Le Jounal de la Marionnette
Born in China in 1964, Yeung Fai represents the fifth generation of a great family of Chinese puppeteers. Puppetry is one of the most ancient traditional folk arts in China. Yeung Fai was trained from the early age of four by his father, a Chinese master puppeteer who was a victim of the Cultural Revolution. This left indelible marks on the son’s art, unrelentingly pursues it, now an unchallenged master of puppet manipulation and making.
He currently lives in France and in addition to his work as a director, creator and puppeteer, he is a dedicated educator and regularly teaches at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mézières, as well as running workshops at other institutions in various countries.
A passionate artist, he presents shows full of poetry, humour and beauty, that surprise audiences of all ages all over the world.
At Theatre São Luiz and as part of FIMFA Lx21, he amazed audiences with The Puppet Show-Man, and at FIMFA Lx16 a documentary was shown about his life and career.