So why is it that artists chez nous seem so at home dreaming up genre-bending multidisciplinary works that wow 'em everywhere from Montreal to Moscow?
"It's because we do not have the weight of the history and tradition," said Pilon, who has been working in tandem with Lemieux for 20 years.
"In Europe, they have these institutions that have existed forever and the director is God. Here in Quebec, theatre didn't exist until the late '50s, so everything was to be invented. We didn't have mentors. We're the generation of Expo 67, where everything was possible."
But we're also different from our anglophone neighbours in the New World, Lemieux adds.
"With our European roots, because of the language, that means we're a new country but we have this tradition, and we can make something new with it," Lemieux said. "Also it's because of our culture here. The hierarchy is much more horizontal. We can go and speak with (Cirque du Soleil boss) Guy Laliberté and we're at the same level as him. That would be impossible in another country."
30 August 2011
Which country is that?