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August 11, 2010

Teochew Rod Puppet performance at Chee Chung Huay

Chinatownboy informed me that there would be a Teochew Rod puppet performance at Chee Chung Huay on 10 August (first day of the Seventh Lunar month). As I have never seen one in real life, I decided to have a look.

The performance by Sin Sai Bao Feng troupe (新赛宝丰班):

A closeup of the rod puppets (dan and sheng):  

Notice that the puppeteers manipulating the puppets were not singing. Like some of the glove puppet performances that I had seen, 'voices' of the puppets are created by other performers backstage. This is different from the string puppet performances that we have seen so far.

A glimpse on the backstage (an ensemble of performers and musicians is less seen in street performances):


                                                        A video clip of the performance (note the fast rhythmic beatat 00:00:30 and see comment below):


  1. Thanks to Jenson from Thau Yong Amateur Musical Association, he managed to identify the musical instrument because I was attracted to the fast rhythmic beat during the performance. This is what he said: 潮州摇板 and 哲鼓 almost similar to waijiang but the chaozhou yaoban is made from ebony/blackwood, and is much higher in pitch compared to Waijiang Yaoban.

  2. A friend who has years of experience in the Teochew puppet scene shares his views about the fast rhythmic beat. It is in Chinese, the translation is also provided below.


    This is a special rhythm in Teochew opera known as “Sui Dian" and there is another type of rhythm known as the ”Luo Jing". (Pardon for the hanyu pinyin, I will change to a more accurate translation if I have the information)

  3. Hey, sorry just wondering if you might know how to contact this troupe? Am looking to feature them for a project I'm working on. Email me? thanks!

  4. Hi Fiona,

    I have sent you an email already. :)

  5. Hi,

    My name is Ella and I am a producer with the Multimedia People Private Limited.

    My company has been tasked with developing multimedia content for the rejuvenation works at the Chinatown Heritage Centre (CHC). Just a bit more about this project, the Singapore Tourism Board's CHC on 46, 48 and 50 Pagoda Street is undertaking a revamp, with the addition of new galleries, artefact and stories.

    One of the Galleries, Roots & Early Life in Chinatown pays homage to a time of enormous social and economic change. There will be an interactive touch screen that invites visitors to learn more about the early days in Chinatown, focusing on the different ethnic groups and how they settle harmoniously.

    While doing research on the internet, we came across pictures from your website which are relevant to the topics which we will be covering. Hence, we hope to gain permission from you / your organization to include them in our interactive. We are interested to use this image.

    Are you able to provide us these images in hi-res non watermarked?

    Thank you for considering my request thus far. Please feel free to contact me at +65 63243492, if you require more information.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Ella Han