Printed sheets with silhouettes the shadow theater characters (video)

Shadow theater - can be considered the first and simplest art form in the history of humankind. It emerged more than two thousand years ago, but the exact time of its origin is unknown. Some art historians believe that this form of visual art comes from China, others - that it first appeared in India, and some mention Egypt. The principle itself arose in ancient times, when, sitting by a fire, a primitive man looked at the changing shadows on the walls of a cave and these vague images evoked frightening pictures in his imagination - the shadow always personified something mystical and mysterious, but of course, it is full of artistic aesthetics. In many ways, the content and plot of the performance depends on the country. Chinese theater is distinguished by demonstrating predominantly historical scenes, in India, religious topics are more often raised, and in Turkey, comedy genres prevail. The shadow helps to bring to life almost any image, which explains the expansion of shadow theater throughout the world and the variety of its directions. The peculiarity of the theater, its aesthetics and themes range depending on the traditions. By the second millennium, shadow theater was very common in China and India. With the troops of Genghis Khan, it also spread to other regions of Asia. It reached its highest form in Turkey in the 16th century, and was popular in the Ottoman Empire. In 1767, the French missionary Jules Aloud brought the technique of shadow theater home from China. In 1776, shadow theater became known in Great Britain. The German poet Goethe took an interest in this art, and in 1774, he arranged his own performance. Since the 18th century, shadow theater became widespread in Europe, and its plots were of the most diverse nature: fairy tales and cartoons, scenes related to everyday life. Figures for performances could be found in newspapers and other printed publications, all that remained was to cut them out, build a small stage, add light, and - the shadows began to come to life ...

In spring, the International Theater Day is traditionally celebrated. To mark it we have digitized old printed sheets with silhouettes of figures from the late 19th century shadow theater  stored in the museum Collection repository.  Now you will be able to print, cut out and independently mastermind a performance with the characters of the old shadow theater. To inspire you, we also decided to come up with the short scene narrating about a hurdy-gurdy man and his "magic" barrel organ.

What will happen next? We invite you to continue the story about the hurdy-gurdy man or come up with your own plot and play out a little performance! Are you ready to try yourself as a theater director, screenwriter and actor? Then boldly prepare the show! Come up with stories, improvise, demonstrate your acting talent, shoot performances and send videos of your shadow theater in Mp4 format to the museum's mail info@mus-col.com, share the shooting process and details of creating a shadow theater on social networks with the hashtag #theatreshadows and mark our @sobraniemuseum.

We will publish the most interesting stories on the museum Collection website and in social networks, and their authors will receive memorable souvenirs.