For centuries no other theater, except for puppet, was not in Myanmar. He originated in the XI century in the territory of the ancient Burmese state of Pagan. After it took a decline, the theatrical Mecca was the city of Mandalay, once the stronghold of powerful Burmese rulers, and now the cultural capital of Myanmar. Today, to see in the mandala of traditional Burmese puppets, it is not necessary to go to the theater. Wooden horses, Buddhist deities of Nata, royal jesters – Burmese Analogs of our parsley – Sale here on every corner.
Almost all souvenir shops have puppet workshops, where they make the popular heroes of the puppet theater. By the way, before the manufacture of puppets did not trust. It was believed that puppets were not just dolls, but the messengers of the gods. Therefore, only those who passed a special dedication did them. As a rule, these were the puppetes themselves. Now few of them make dolls. But the 19-year-old to drink it turns out to be excellent. Despite the young age, he works in the workshop for six years. To drink: "One puppet is usually a couple of days. But with a sophisticated doll, it is a whole week, and even longer".
Some parts cut out of the tree, and other masters connect them with metal hinges and sew a doll costume. It makes cotton fabric and expand beads. To drink: "In our case, every detail is important. After all, the princes should look majestically, the monsters – to be truly scary, and the jesters are funny". Each character of the Burmese doll theater is traditionally made from a certain tree of wood: for the manufacture of the jester usually take a soft meal, Tajamin – Supreme Divine – Cut from camphoring tree. Koi Twi, the owner of the workshop: "Over the past twenty years in our craft a lot has changed. And the main thing is that we almost stopped making puppets for theater. Now our main buyers are foreign tourists. And the theater is now experiencing not the best times. Although presentations are going".
In the most famous theater, Mandalay puppet ideas, as before, give three times a week. But Burmese in the auditorium – a rarity. There are mainly tourists on the presentation, who here bought puppets as souvenirs. Any puppet representation begins with musical entry, which is executed on the Burmese harp – it is called San. When the entry ends, all the characters of the performance appear on the stage: jesters, princes, star. They are moving in the dance under the accompaniment of the orchestra consisting of traditional Burmese tools. Mandatory Detail of the Costume of the Theater Orchestrant – Headdress Haunbun.
The number of musicians in the theater orchestra and participating in the play of puppets used to be strictly defined. But the old canons already have few people. The only thing that remains unchanged is, is a repertoire. Its foundation, like centuries ago, Jataki – Ancient Buddhist parables, only strongly existence. In favor of a foreign public, the director will strongly simplify the plot, reduce, and sometimes they throw out the scenes at all. Episodes that a foreigner knowously cannot understand, replace dolls. In parallel with simplification of content, the technique of working with puppets becomes easier. For example, earlier, dumbers managed their dolls with six tens of threads. Nowadays, they cost only seventeen. But now the audience can observe the manipulations of the dolls – for this a dense curtain that hides them from the hall, it is raised from time to time. During the performance, the dublovds play small scenes among themselves, make fun of each other and over the audience, which the meaning of these jokes remains incomprehensible, since almost all of them are foreigners.
Previously, dumbers even more actively participated in the presentation. But as the plots simplified, there are less and less opportunities for self-expression, the head and doll of the theater believes "Sixty-sixth street" Ban E: "Yes, now everything is very simplified. Sixty years ago Each puppet view was a real event. Newspapers wrote about performances, people discussed production. Now – tourists come, look, applauded, go. Everything seems to be satisfied, but that atmosphere is no longer". Nail program – dance dolls and girls playing the role of doll. The fact that women began to participate in puppet performances – also innovation. Estimation of the century, the profession of the actor and the dice was in Burma exclusively male. This and many other changes are dictated by the desire to return to the theater of the Burmese viewer. Traditional plots and techniques, the same heroes – this in the 21st century does not attract the public. Ban E: "Local public to go to the theater almost ceased. People replaced his television, cinema, computers. But it’s not just in them. In our art there are almost no fanatics, people who can breathe new life into it". And yet the youth in the puppet profession comes. Together with Ban E Puppets, his grandchildren and their friends are managed. Maybe they will be able to return the Burmese to the empty visual halls.