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At our theatre in Mandalay, we usually perform the following as a regular show;

Part (1)
Introduction of the Myanmar Traditional Dance and Music

Part (2) Introduction of the Myanmar String Puppetry

For the special arrangement upon request and local show, we include:
Part (3) One of the Buddha Stories (or) Other Requested Stories

Regular show: everyday from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Entrance Fee: 8 US$ per person.
Duration : one hour for Part (1) & (2) one and half hours for Part (1) & (2) & (3)
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PROGRAM INTRODUCTION
Part(1) Introduction of the Myanmar Traditional Dance and Music
1. Musical Prelude
A Myanmar Orchestra, "Mandalay Yoke-Soun-Thabin Band", play this musical preldude with the talent of each section player.

2. Traditional Harp (Saung)
It has sixteen strings and is made in the form of a boat. The boat-shape hollow base or body of the harp is made of the finest padauk (pterocarpus) wood, the neck is made of acia catechu wood, and the drum of deerskin.
It is played by plucking with the fingers.
 
3. Candle Light Dance (or) Pagan Dance
These are Myanmar traditional Dances performing by a human being.
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Part (2) The Puppetry of Myanmar a dying art

1. Votaress   

A typical traditional puppet show begins with three beats on the gong and cymbal and starts with a Ritual Dance, performed by a medium, who pays respect to the guardian spirits (The Nats or good spirits) of the area by offering coconut and bananas.

2.Himalayan Scene   

Hinalayan Range is the habit of many animals and demons, finally "the Zaw-Gyi (or) the Alchemist." The first to appear is the horse. According to the Buddhist concept of the Universe, the first constellation to appear on the sky is the galaxy of stars shaped liked a horse's head.

3.Alchemist (Zaw-Gyi)   

According to popular belief Zaw-Gyi is a demigod clad in red, full of vigour, who lives in the forest. He always carries a magic stick. He has a friendly face, which also expresses his philosophical mind. As he is an Alchemist, he grinds medical plants with his magic stick on a stone slab. When he achieves success, he dances about and does a lot of acrobatics and he even sits on his magic stick. He is puppet character who is capable of flying through the air and boring through the earth.

4.Royal Page Boy's Dance   

This character was the symbol of "The visit Myanmar Year 1996". Pageboys served as general errand boys in the palace and were most useful in carrying message. One of their duties was to run ahead of royal processions, to make sure all was in Oder and to point out the seating plan of the nobles.

5.Comical Dance   

Leading directly from the Pageboy, two popular rural villagers, and old bachelor and an old spinster perform a humorous romance dance.

6. The Competitive Dance (Human being and Puppet)
   

"Anything you can do I can do better." "Yoke Thay", once a highly esteemed royal past time, is a show not merely of stringed wooden dolls but of like human substitutes. They could make human dancers so environs of their superceding artistry that there has emerged a form of marionette dance imitatively created by human beings themselves.

7.The Prince and Princess   

Love duet is the most beautiful and sentimental performance. This is the climax of the puppet show. The best puppetrees are always selected to perform this magnificent and artistic dance.
The Prince, back from this studies, bring his love one to the palace to present her to his parents. Two clowns, who make jokes, accompany them to entertain when they are tired.


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Part (3) The Buddha Stories (Jataka Tales) & Ramayana Story

We have been performing the different Buddha Stories regarding the request of the audience or a giving situation. We have recently developed the RAMARANA Buddha Story.

"Widura-Pannita"

Before Buddha was born as Prince Siddhatha', he had many reincarnations. The Jataka tales are the stories about the early lives of Budda.

" Widura " story is one of the favourite Jataka tales no.545. It is a story about one of the last reincarnations of Buddha, When he was a wise sage named Widura-Pannita.
The queen of Naga (dragon) wanted to hear Widura 's sermon. She pretended to be ill, and told her husband that she needed the heart of the famous sage, Widura-Pannita. The king was shocked, but he agreed. So his daughter, the princess was sent out to attract a husband who can help her parents by singing a lovely song.
An ogre, named Ponnaka saw the princess and asked the king for her. But the king required the heart of Widura-Pannita first. So Ponnaka visited the court where the wise man, Widura-Pannita was, and used his magical powers to win Widura-Pannita from his masterin a game of dice. Then Ponnaka claimed to kill Widura-Pannita. Widura-Pannita asked Ponnaka what he wants.
Widura-Pannita was not afraid of dying. However, he explained that the Queen of Nagas wanted his teaching and wisdom, not his physical heart. The orge, Ponnaka' was converted by his teachings and in fact the Queen had wanted just to hear and have her family hear the wise teaching of the sage.

"Sadan King Elephant"

This is the very noted Sadan King Elephant called Sadan Sin Min story written by Salay U PonNya. The versatile author of Yadanabon age. This is one of the stories of pre-Buddha, from 550 Jataka Tales. In this story, the Pre-existence of Buddha is the King Elephant, Sadan Sin Min. He had 2 spouses, Maha Thu Ba Dar and Sue La Thu Ba Dar.
Usually, they used to live close to the Sadan lake, where there has a giant sal tree, which was blooming with a lot of sal flowers. One day, while they were taking shelter under the shade of that sal tree, King Sadan let the sal flowers fall down with his trunk for the sake of his beloved spouses. The fragrant sal flowers fell down on Maha Thu Ba Dar, but unfortunately, the sal flowers with red ants fell down upon Sue La Thu Ba Dar. She laid a curse and, she said her prayer to the Buddha to take revenge on her husband in her next existence.
Her wish was fulfilled according to her prayers and she became a queen in her next existence, and sent the most cruel hunter Taw Note Tara, to go to the sal forest to cut a pair of tusks of King Sadan. The king Sadan came to know the case because of the explaination of the hunter and he himself cut his pair of tusks and gave it to the hunter for his wife, Sue La Thu Ba Dar.


"Ramayana Story"

Scene I
King Demon Ravan or Dasagiri and his sister Gambi agrees to make revenge to Rama who had killed her two sons in a fight. They would make a trick to deceive Rama.
So the two transform themselves into a hermit and a deer.


Scene II

Emeral Prince Rama, Golden Prince Lakhana and Sita enjoy themselves in the forest. The deer Gambi approaches Sita. Sita wants to have it and asks Rama to catch her. Sensing a clever trick, Rama confides his brother Lakhana to protect Sita in his absence. Then he chases after the deer.

Scene III
When Rama killed the deer, Gambee cries in a great pain in the voice of Rama. She dances happily in satisfaction for her conquer. Hearing that voice Sita is alarmed and demands Lakhana is gone, the hermit approaches Sita. Grasping Sita's hand offering a fruit, the hermit abducts Sita to Lanka, the Island of demons.


Scene IV
Monkey king, Sukrit sees Ravan or Dasagiri taking Sita away. He jumps up and holds on the chariot. He demands her release, but in vain. But Sita was successful in giving her scarf to Rama, as a message of her abduction.

Scene V
Rama and his brother are found much exhausted after a fruitless search going under a tree, Rama, slept on his brother's lap.
From above, the Monkey King sees the two brothers loving each other. He weeps bitterly, a drop of tear fells on Rama, who gets up and threatens the Monkey King.
The Monkey King explains about a fight with his brother, who drives him here. He is very sad at the sight of Rama and Lakhana loving each other. He also narrates his encounter with Sita and offers her scarf .

Scene (VI)
After that, Sukrit explains about powerful Monkey Warrior Hanuman who is now in small shape due to the curses of someone. And so, Monkey Warrior Hanuman is brought into the presense of Holy king Rama, who kindly rubs over Monkey Warrior Hanuman bring back his original structure and might. A Helpful Monkey Warrior Hanuman brings them to the empire of Ravan or Dasagiri across the ocean.

Scene (VII)
Monkey Warrior Hanuman sets fire at his tail and burnts the island of lanka (Srilanka) in flames.



 

Scene (VIII)
Finally, Monkey Warrior Hanuman can successfully bring Sita back and there is a delightful encounter of Rama, Lakhana, Sita, Monkey King Sukrit and powerful Monkey Warrior Hanuman.

 

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