Glove puppetry, a distinctive cultural art to Zhoushan, China, has been around for since the 17th century.
Hou Yafei (侯雅飛), who is a fifth-generation inheritor of glove puppetry, explained that all roles in the play are usually acted by one person as there’s no fixed script.
In a typical performance, two chapters are played; however, this is no easy feat as it could take 5 to 6 hours a day to complete.
According to Hou, a well-educated performer will read the lines with more definition and intonation. On the other hand, those not as familiar with the art might deliver the lines sounding plain and straightforward.
In a short demonstration, Hou also showed viewers how the hands need to be held to bring different characters to life.
For example, for the role of Lao Sheng (an old man in Chinese opera), the performer should hold his or her fingers upright, while for the role of Hua Dan (a female role in Chinese opera), they should be gentler.
Hou revealed that she usually play two chapters per day, adding that it could take her up to 50 days to complete just one book.
“I have endless passion for this. I can’t imagine doing anything else in my whole life except for glove puppetry and singing local operas.”