Per­for­mance art from“an­other world”

China Daily (USA) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHANG KUN in Shanghai zhangkun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Three blue-skinned fig­ures were spot­ted wan­der­ing around Shanghai re­cently. They took a ride on the metro, browsed mer­chan­dize in shop­ping malls and even re­ceived a par­cel from a courier.

The trio, how­ever, aren’t ac­tu­ally from an­other planet. In­stead, these men are mem­bers of the Blue Man Group, a per­for­mance art out­fit from the United States who were in Shanghai to pro­mote their maiden China tour which will take place from Nov 16 to Dec 4 at SAIC Shanghai Cul­ture Square.

Many would find it dif­fi­cult to de­fine what Blue Man per­for­mances are. Af­ter all, it con­tains el­e­ments from theater, mu­si­cals, con­certs and a va­ri­ety of other gen­res, said the cap­tain of the Blue Man Group, known only as Merid­ian.

He also de­scribed the show as a “jour­ney” where the blue men will take au­di­ences into “their world, their life, and their cel­e­bra­tion.”

The show fea­tures three alien men who land on the planet and are cu­ri­ous about the hu­man race. The char­ac­ters will make odd noises, splash col­or­ful pig­ments on stage and even play in­ter­ac­tive games with the au­di­ences.

“The Blue Man char­ac­ters and the Blue Man Group Com­pany are cu­ri­ous about the world we live in. As the world around us changes, as new tech­nolo­gies are in­vented, as new cre­ative im­pulses hap­pen in the world, we are con­stantly in­flu­enced,” said Merid­ian.

Fei Yuan­hong, artis­tic di­rec­tor of SAIC Shanghai Cul­ture Square, de­scribed the Blue Man show to be “a mind-open­ing, un­con­strained, lim­it­less, and child-like ex­pe­ri­ence for the au­di­ence”.

Merid­ian said that au­di­ences can ex­pect their show in Novem­ber to in­cor­po­rate el­e­ments of everyday life in the dig­i­tal age, such as the con­nec­tion with de­vices like phones and tablets.

“We have some great hu­mor in the show that sur­rounds these gi­ant tablets, and they will ap­pear larger than life in the per­for­mance,” said Merid­ian, whose fa­vorite part of his job is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the dif­fer­ent re­ac­tions from au­di­ences around the world.

Al­though these char­ac­ters are sup­pos­edly from “an­other world” and dis­play no fa­cial ex­pres­sions, Merid­ian prom­ises that the au­di­ence will be able to eas­ily re­late and un­der­stand the char­ac­ters.

“There is more to the Blue Man that is fa­mil­iar than un­fa­mil­iar. Ev­ery­where we’ve brought the show to, peo­ple un­der­stand the char­ac­ters. This per­for­mance is about some­thing we all share: our de­sire to con­nect with each other, and the de­sire to cel­e­brate all that is won­der­ful about life to­gether,” said Merid­ian.

The Blue Man Group was founded in 1991. Chi­nese au­di­ences first got to know the char­ac­ters from an In­tel com­mer­cial on TV in the 1990s. The Blue Man Show, which has been seen by 35 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide, is cur­rently on tour in the US and Ger­many.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

TheBlueManShow will be in Shanghai from Nov 16 to Dec 4.

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