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March 29, 2010 / Greg Vaughn

Thai Puppet Show

Thai puppet show at Aksra Theater in Bangkok

Thai puppet show at Aksra Theatre in Bangkok.

One of the highlights of my visit to Thailand was attending the Thai puppet show at Aksra Theatre in Bangkok. The show, named Aksra Hoon Lakorn Lek, is an incredible performance by a troupe of puppeteers trained in the traditional Thai style. It includes over 100 puppets, elaborate stage sets, dramatic lighting and music.

Particularly fascinating to me was finding that each puppet is controlled by three puppeteers, working and moving in total  syncrhonization to control the body, arms and legs of the puppets. Check the photo above – even their toes are synchronized! The puppets themselves are hand-made works of art with amazing attention to detail. The 600-seat Aksra Theater in itself is quite impressive, with an interior that is Baroque in style yet reflecting traditional Thai art and culture.

Just before this trip I picked up a Nikon D300S and this puppet show seemed like a good opportunity to give the camera’s video capability a try. Put the camera on the tripod, pushed a couple of buttons and the screen started flashing REC. Check my 30″  YouTube video clip to get an idea of the staging and music for the show.


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