Dragons with flags. Dragons shooting fire. THE PERFORMANCE AND STORIES At the beginning of the show, the water starts to ripple-the puppeteers are agitating it to stir up the dirt so you can't see their rods. The water changes constantly, reflecting the puppets and magnifying the movement. In Vietnamese Traditional Water Puppetry authors Nguyen Huy Hong and Tran Trung Chinh describe the scene: "The water's surface is in constant motion, absorbing every image, both of natural phenomena and of the 54 theatre design & technology S P R I N G 2008 puppet characters themselves. The movement of the stage is beyond the control of the artists, since the water's surface is not a calm, stationary mirror passively reflecting any images received. With each successive ripple, the image is further broken up or transformed. Changes in both form and colour on the water stage increase the effect to a very great extent during the show" (Hong 1996, 25).