Building on the early European experiments with animated shadow figures, American dalang Larry Reed – narrator and puppet manipulator – has enlarged Balinese shadow puppetry to cinema-sized dimensions and combined it with live actors and dancers. In conjunction with Balinese puppet masters, Reed has created several pieces which explore the interaction between puppets and human shadow figures as well as performers in front of the screen. Moreover, Reed's productions are bilingual and bi-cultural, mixing Balinese and American humour and mythology so that the hybrid creations find favour with audiences in both locations. As his technique increasingly becomes refined in the process, each new production expands more subtly on the theme of melding shadow with flesh and the blurring of illusion and reality.
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