Shadow Theatre

This could well be the oldest way to represent images in movement on a screen.
The effect is obtained by placing a silhouette of one’s hands between a light source and a white translucent screen. It is not hard to imagine ancient cavemen taking advantage of the play of light and shadows offered by the fire to represent scenes or rituals… However, the first known shadow theatre can be established more than 5000 years ago on the isle of Java, in Indonesia. Indeed it did not arrive in Europe until the 18th century, when it became extremely popular, especially in Paris with the famous cabaret theatre Le Chat Noir, where the artists and intellectuals of the day flocked to see shadow plays on the stage.

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Traditional puppets
· Hand
· “Seller”, Egyptian puppet, 17th century
· “Hacivat”, from the emblematic duo of Turkish theatre “Hacivat and Karagöt”
· “King Kresna of Dwarawati”, Java, Indonesia, 19th c.