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The classical marionette theatre is an extremely complicated technique, the foundation of which is laid in the 18th century. Each theatre has adjusted its technique to their own specific wishes and demands.
In the Netherlands this specific form of marionette theatre is only performed by the Amsterdam Marionette Theatre.

playing device
The device to move the marionettes comes in three separate parts: a cross for the posture and walking movements of the marionette, a triangle for the head movements and a long, thin stick for the expression of hands and arms.
Our marionettes have at least eleven strings. Marionettes that have to make a specific movement are provided with extra strings. For example, Jeannot who makes a somersault in The Castle in the Air has 16 strings.

A team of six puppeteers is on the bridge and brings the marionettes to life. In the Netherlands, apart from the Amsterdam Marionette Theatre there is no expertise in the classical marionette theatre. Therefore this expertise is handed down to new players by the experienced puppeteers of the Amsterdam Marionette Theatre, so that this special tradition be maintained and developed. An 'instinct' for theatre and music and unending patience are indispensable. The handling of a marionette is comparable to playing a musical instrument: again and again technique and expression are further developed and refined.

power of expression
A puppeteer follows his marionette instead of imposing his will upon the puppet. Each marionette has its specific properties: certain movements it can make quite beautifully, others fit less well in its range of movement or in its character. The puppeteer has to īdiscoverī each new marionette. There are moments when the music breathes along with the movements of the marionette and the puppeteer wonders: Do I play or am I being played?