«Puppet Theater». Hands have been moving behind the scenes for 100 years

Moving puppets is an art akin to "playing a musical instrument." Archival

Eighteen hands move from their inconspicuous position on the stage of the puppet theater in the Austrian city of Salzburg, to inject movement into the characters in front of the audience, an art that is more than 18 years old, has a great deal of magic, and requires a skill that requires years of training to acquire.

Among those pulling the strands "from two metres above the stage" is Edward Funk, with his round glasses, thin mustache and shaggy hair. Developed a passion for the world behind the scenes since his childhood in Paris, Funk loves the technology invented 110 years ago by the founder of the magnificent Salzburg Theatre, Austrian sculptor Anton Eischer, and which is now on UNESCO's heritage lists. Funk, 34, likened the art of moving puppets to "playing a musical instrument".

It is not possible to learn how to use this technique in any school, and the interested person only has to train in this particular theater, and mastering this art optimally requires several years, knowing that some complex characters may have dozens of threads, and it takes about five specialists to move them. Puppeteers are also the creators, devoting hours a day to these wooden objects, hundreds of which are in the workshops, before moving to the theater hall to move them during performances.

The artists themselves carve, paint and dress wooden dolls, representing the characters of the most famous tales, including "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", "The Little Prince", "The Magic Flute", or inspired by musicals.

Eilze Laubichler, 79, who has been attending the theatre since she was a child, said that "this art is really wonderful" and is now keen to introduce her grandchildren to it.