September 20, 2017

Marionette troupe aims to keep art form alive

Enthusiasts enjoy control of puppets in dual dances.
Enthusiasts enjoy control of puppets in dual dances.

The Htwe Oo Myanmar marionette troupe is preparing new stories to present at its recently opened performance theater in downtown Yangon, art director U Htwe Oo said recently.
“In an attempt to attract more local audiences, the troupe is performing a special show at 4 p.m. every weekend with a discount price of US $5 per person,” U Htwe Oo told The Global New Light of Myanmar. “Normally, a show ticket costs $10 for adults and $5 for children.”
Established in 2006, the Htwe Oo Myanmar marionette troupe, run by U Htwe Oo and his wife Daw Tin Tin Oo, aims to resurrect one of the country’s traditional art forms.
The troupe received the best puppet animation award at the Harmony World Puppet Carnival in Bangkok last year.
“We are planning to perform two ordinary shows at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily from September, because many tourists may come to the country after the end of the rainy season,” U Htwe Oo said.
The troupe will also present free shows for street children, with plans to share knowledge of the art form, he added.
Puppetry has traditionally been one of Myanmar’s most popular folk arts and is commonly seen at pagoda festivals. Researchers date the origin of Myanmar marionettes to the 1870s.
Compared to its heyday, the art form now has relatively few practitioners. At present, around 20 professional puppeteers remain in the field, the majority of them in Yangon and Mandalay.
Opened in June, the Htwe Oo troupe’s 25-seat theater is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at No. 174/176 Sule Pagoda Road, Kyauktada Township.
Bookings for private shows with the troupe to can be made by phoning 01 245 676, 09 79 8888 790, 09 7247 2222 or visiting the website


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