About Nanxin Village Puppet Play 南辛庄木偶戏

The Nanxin Village Puppet Play(南辛庄木偶戏Nánxīnzhuāng mùŏuxì) in Hejian City of Cangzhou, also called“Pushing Play”and “Elbow Play”, is a rare opera in Hebei. It was carried to Nanxin Village from Guo Village in Xijiiuji County in the 29th year (1601) of Wanli in the Ming.

From the beginning to the end, the instruments (such as: siqin, drum) of the puppet play are the same as those of the clapper opera. And the first mode, second mode, third mode and duo mode are used. There are little figures, little horses even little swords and spears in the puppet play. The true person sings as the puppet performs. And the puppet is controlled by the true person. However, the singing face must accord with the puppet’s expression and her happiness, sadness and anger, which to let the puppet express the feelings of a true person. Furthermore, the stage walk must be as same as the true person does. This requires the wirepullers to have certain skills to reach the result of mixing the false with the true.

Nanxin Village Puppet Play totally has fifteen plays including eight clapper opera and seven silk string opera. The eight clapper opera are A Iron Shaft with a Flag, Tong Pass, Golden Ball, the Third Sister Wang Borrows Foods, the Mystical Excursion, Travel to North, Beautiful Phoenix Building and Drifting in Rivers. And the seven silk string operas are Pilgrimage to the West, Shoes with Phoenixes on, Huilong Pavilion, the Story of the Reed Catkins and Jiepai Pass etc. There are more than thirty different puppets (about one chi high) of sheng, dan, jing, chou in the civil and military division. Everything, such as the sword, gun, spear, halberd, axe, hook, fold, garment painted with dragons and snakes, phoenix coronet and embroidered tussled cape needed is there.

After 1949, Nanxin Village Puppet Play was rejuvenated due to the local entertainers Jin Hanxi and Wang Guangliang. In Year 1956, it was performed in Beijing City.

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