Yuqin Wang, born in Beijing, China, followed in her father's footsteps, training at the Beijing Opera School by the age of ten. However, in 1964 the director of the Puppet Art Troupe of China saw Wang perform and asked her to join his troupe as a performer. Thus, she began her career in rod puppetry, a tradition of dramatic and acrobatic staging of folktales, legends, and opera. While in the troupe, Wang met and married Zhengli Xu, a master puppet maker who, after training in puppetry school, traveled to villages to learn from the old masters the art of puppet making.
For over 31 years Yuqin Wang performed with the Puppet Art Troupe, the first national puppetry group in China, and traveled internationally with them, performing lead roles in over 30 puppet shows, as well as in movies and television programs. Zhengli Xu performed in and directed numerous shows and was the stage director for six different puppet shows. In 1996 Xu and Wang moved to Portland, Oregon where they have taken their art form to new audiences. Collaborating with their daughter, Brenda, they have performed at the Atlanta Olympic Games and at the National Folk Festival in East Lansing, Michigan. In addition, they generously share their tradition at numerous school residencies and continue to teach in the Oregon Folklife Apprenticeship Program.
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