Canadian director examines ‘home’ from an expat view


Though best known as a director of Quebec-based circus Cirque du Soleil, 52-year-old Robert Lepage is also one of Canada’s most distinguished dramatists.

His latest production, “The Blue Dragon,” uses masterful lighting changes and a two-story set in a play that examines the lives, thoughts and troubles of three people from different backgrounds whose lives intersect in today’s global village.

In order to examine the pitfalls of globalization, Lepage sets his piece in modern Shanghai — a shining example of rapid transformation. The story revolves around Pierre (Henri Chasse), a Canadian artist who left troubles behind and moved to Shanghai some 15 years earlier. He then opened an art gallery with his partner in business and love, Chinese artist Xiao Ling (Tai Wei Foo).

However, Pierre is thrown for a loop when his former partner, Claire (Marie Michaud), asks him to meet her for the first time in 15 years. Claire is coming to China to adopt a baby. It is an encounter, though, that plunges Pierre into questioning the meaning of his life and asking whether his thoughts of home are mere nostalgia or whether he has been living a superficial oriental dream.

The story unfolds with Claire in an aircraft on the set’s second story, and Pierre below her in his home with calligraphy projected on the wall behind him.

The piece features stirring dialogues and a beautiful dance by Xiao Ling.

“The Blue Dragon” runs Nov. 11-14 at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space in Toshima Ward, Tokyo. Shows begin at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11-13, 2 p.m. on Nov. 13-14. Tickets cost between ¥4,500-¥6,500 (¥1,000 for high school students). The play will be staged in French, English and Chinese with Japanese subtitles. For more details, call (03) 5985-1707 or visit www.geigeki.jp.