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Story of 'Maiden Pearl' told with Chinese puppets

"The Chinese rod puppets of Dragon Art Studio appear at WICA next Friday.Dragon Art Studio presents the honored tradition of Chinese rod puppetry -- an art form rarely seen in this part of the country -- in a Family Series show Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m. at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. Beijing master puppeteers Zhengli Xu and Yuqin Wang present Maiden Pearl, an ancient legend of the South China Sea about a magic pearl rescued by a fisherman and transformed into a beautiful and kind-hearted maiden. Maiden Pearl mixes puppetry with music, elegance, humor and special effects to create a memorable theatrical event that also gives an intriguing insight into Chinese folklore and culture.The large, carved, hand-painted puppets are operated by artists who study for years to achieve the proper grace and synchronization of sound and movement. The program is 75 minutes long with a 15 minute intermission. There are five performers.Funding for the 2000-2001 WICA Family Series is provided by the Boeing Company, Puget Sound Energy, and the Horizons Foundation.Series tickets for all four family production are $20; call the WICA Box office at 221-8268 or e-mail wica@whidbey.com. "

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