Like Peking Opera and Chinese Acrobatic Show, Shadow Play is one of Chinese traditional shows that has a long history. It dates back to Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, spread to South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia and North Africa in the 13th century.
Known as the “magic of the East” among Europeans, Chinese shadow play, a precursor of modern cinema, is experiencing a revival following a period of marked decline.
Shadow puppets are cut-out figures which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim. The cut-out shapes of the puppets sometimes include translucent color or other types of detailing. Various effects can be achieved by moving both the puppets and the light source. A talented puppeteer can make the figures appear to walk, dance, fight, nod and laugh.