The Blue Dragon by Robert Lepage in Salamanca!

Robert Lepage, one of the most versatile theater directors has braught a new masterpiece to Spain when he and his company Ex Machina performed last night in The Blue Dragon at the IV Festival de las Artes de Castilla y León in Salamanca.

Québécois director Robert Lepage’s characters are often travellers drawn to the revealing encounter with the other, the exotic, the unknown. Yet in all the stories Lepage has told through opera, film, or theatre, only one of his characters has ever gone away for good— Pierre Lamontagne, the central figure in The Dragons’ Trilogy, who departs as the play closes to study art in China.

Twenty years later, Lamontagne resurfaces in Shanghai’s Moganshan 50, a former industrial complex converted into an arts centre, now the heart of the contemporary Chinese art scene. Here he meets Claire Forêt, a Montreal ad executive, drawn like so many others to take advantage of the Chinese economic miracle. Claire, who had known Pierre in another life at art school, casts a decidedly western eye on his current existence. Through the shock of their rediscovery and confrontation, their common past opens an unexpected door to the future for both. Enter Xiao Ling, a Chinese artist exhibiting at Pierre’s gallery. As she faces wrenching choices, the young woman awakens hopes long buried in Claire.

In the effervescent paradox that is modern China, the collision of these three characters brings about fundamental changes for each.

Co-written by Robert Lepage, winner of the 2007 Europe Theatre Prize, and his collaborator Marie Michaud (who also co-authored The Dragons’ Trilogy), and performed by Lepage, Michaud, and dancer Tai Wei Foo, The Blue Dragon bears all the hallmarks of Lepage’s original, brilliant, and highly visual style. As always, Lepage relies on the one inexhaustible resource the theatre possesses—the audience’s intelligence.

Playing with the audience’s imagination, Robert Lepage is a real visionary, he is creating theater for those who don´t like theater.


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