BAM to Present Robert Lepage's BLUE DRAGON, 9/18-21
BAM is set to present Robert Lepage's intimate theatrical work The Blue Dragon from September 18-21 at BAM Harvey Theatre. Tickets begin at $25.
In 1985, The Dragons' Trilogy, an ambitious five-and-a-half-hour theatrical spectacle, propelled a 27-year-old French Canadian onto the world theater scene. A quarter century later, Robert Lepage revisited that story to develop a "spin-off," The Blue Dragon, which BAM will present in its highly-anticipated New York premiere. First created in 2008 with his long-time collaborator Marie Michaud, The Blue Dragon picks up with one of the characters, Pierre Lamontagne (played by Lepage in his first stage appearance at BAM since 1992), a Canadian artist who left home to seek fortune in China. He is now 20 years older and has reinvented himself as an art dealer in Shanghai. His seemingly contented life with a young lover, Xiao Ling (Tai Wei Foo), is interrupted when an old love, Claire Forêt (Michaud), reappears for an adoption process in China. As Claire bonds with Ling, Pierre is forced to re-examine his relations with both women and his self-imposed exile half a world away from home.
Using a two-tiered set, sliding curtains, and projected images, Lepage moves the action seamlessly among a gallery, a train platform, an apartment, a restaurant, and an airport, among other locales. Stunning stage images are achieved with theatrical sleight-of-hand in a way thatThe Guardian called "an ideal marriage of form and content": calligraphy strokes flow out of actors' hands onto the stage, bicycles glide through a cityscape at night, snowfalls serendipitously appear. The Globe and Mail proclaimed the stage artistry "so fluidly, breathtakingly inventive that it makes even big-budget Broadway musicals look dull." A rapidly changing metropolis serves as the backdrop for an intimate and humane love story where cultures clash and fuse, where past and present intersect, and where characters keep questioning the choices they made and the decisions awaiting them.
Versatile in every form of theater craft, Robert Lepage is a director, scenic artist, playwright, actor, and film director. His creative and original approach has won him international acclaim, numerous awards, and has shaken the dogma of classical stage direction to its foundations, especially through his use of new technologies. Born in Quebec, he entered the Conservatoire d'art dramatique de Québec at the age of 17. After a study period in Paris in 1978 he returned to Quebec and became involved in many creative projects, gaining experience as actor, author, and director. Two years later he joined the Théâtre Repère where his work included The Dragon's Trilogy (1985), Vinci (1986), Polygraph (1990 Next Wave), and Tectonic Plates (1988). Subsequent independent productions included Needles and Opium (1992 Next Wave), Coriolanus, Macbeth, and The Tempest (1992). With A Midsummer Night's Dream (1992), Lepage became the first North American to direct a Shakespeare play at the Royal National Theatre.
Lepage founded his Production Company, Ex Machina, in 1994. Under his artistic direction, the company's productions have included The Seven Streams of the River Ota (1996 Next Wave) and Elsinore (1997 Next Wave). At La Caserne-a production center in Quebec City that opened in 1997 under Lepage's leadership-he and his team created Geometry of Miracles (1999 Next Wave), Zulu Time (1999), The Andersen Project(2005), and Lipsynch (2009 Next Wave), among others. Lepage is equally adept at opera and has created productions of Bluebeard's Castle andErwartung as a double-bill (1993 Spring Season), The Nightingale and Other Short Fables (2011 Spring Season) for Canadian Opera Company, and the Ring cycle for the Metropolitan Opera.
After completing studies at the Conservatoire d'art dramatique de Québec in 1982, Marie Michaud became a member of Théâtre Repère for six years. She collaborated with Robert Lepage in the writing of The Dragons' Trilogy and played the role of Jeanne, for which she received an FTA Best Actress Award. In addition to her television roles, she has also appeared in Alexis Martin's stage adaptation of The Iliad, Carlo Goldoni's La Locandiera, Évelyne de la Chenelière's Désordre Public, Shelagh Stephenson's The Memory of Water, Bernard Marie Koltès' Roberto Zucco, and Thomas Bernhard's Old Masters, among others. A remarkable improvisational actor, she has frequently shared the stage with top international actors as a star player at Ligue nationale d'improvisation.