A special water puppet programme that takes place on Feb. 10-25 at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris is delighting French people, both young and old, and helping them to gain a deeper insight into Vietnamese culture.

After cooperation between the Vietnam Puppetry Theatre and the Bordeaux en Aquitaine National Theatre of France, the programme has debuted after a year of rehearsals which began in October, 2010.

Under the direction of Dominique Pitoiset, the national theatre’s Director, the performance is entitled “The master of water puppetry” and is a skillful combination of Vietnamese folk music such as cheo (traditional opera), quan ho (love duet) and a dao (street song) with water puppets.

For the first time Vietnamese water puppeteers step out from behind the curtain and perform in front of audiences, bringing them a taste of daily life for rural Vietnamese people.

Daniel Loayza, the programme’s writer, stressed that this is not a normal performance as it aims to ascertain the demand shown by French people, especially children, for Vietnam ’s traditional artistic genres.

Patrick Pernin, Deputy Director of the Bordeaux en Aquitaine National Theatre, said he is attracted by the amazing creativity and differences of this artistic genre.

He said that through this programme he wants to explore Vietnam ’s countryside and people which are still unknown to him.

Nguyen Tien Dung, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Puppetry Theatre, said that despite the direction of a French national theatre, the programme preserves the traditional characteristics, from the materials used to make the puppets to performance styles.

The Vietnam Puppetry Theatre has made nearly 80 appearances in cities and provinces around France . The group plans to return to the country in June and at the end of this year.

On Feb. 12, a talk on Vietnamese water puppetry was held at the Quai Branly Museum./.