Shandong intangible cultural heritage classroom: Mount Tai shadow puppet play
The first class of the Shandong intangible cultural heritage classroom, led by Fan Zheng'an, a national inheritor of Mount Tai shadow puppet play, opened on March 4 at the Shandong Provincial Cultural Center in Jinan.
Fan came early to the classroom and decorated it with help from the center's staff.
"I hope the kids will become interested in Mount Tai shadow play through today's class," said Fan, a sixth-generation practitioner of the Mount Tai solo puppetry art.
Fan said that unlike other regional puppet shows that involve an entire troupe, the Mount Tai shadow play is performed by only one person.
"Shi bu xian", a moniker of the art form, literally "busy doing ten things at one time", explicates the difficulty and the uniqueness of Mount Tai shadow puppet play.
"Though the art's inheritance and development face some predicaments, I feel very pleased that the government and society are now attaching great importance to the issue and offering considerable support," said Fan. "The classroom is a great platform for passing on and protecting traditional culture."
Wang Yanliang, head of the Shandong Provincial Cultural Center, said that the intangible cultural heritage classroom has been open every Saturday since March 4 in a bid to introduce and teach the province's outstanding intangible cultural heritages to kids.
Wang said that every course is taught by a state or provincial level intangible cultural inheritor and kids aged between 6 and 12 can sign up for the classes.
Fan presents shadow figures and stage props to pupils in the first class of the Shandong intangible cultural heritage classroom on March 4 in Jinan, capital of Shandong. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]