12th LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture: Robert LePage
An Artist’s View on Identity and Belonging
Many of you know him as the influence behind Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM and KÀshows, and Peter Gabriel’s tours, Secret World and Growing Up. For the stage, he has created Needles and Opium and The Far Side of the Moon. He also directed The Ring Cycle for New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Lepage is also the recipient of The Glenn Gould Prize, celebrating his international critical acclaim for combining diverse media into cohesive stories that surprise, challenge and delight.
Lepage addressed 350 people, and many more online watching the live webcast. It was a rare opportunity to hear him speak about his personal life and the themes that fuel his work. Insightful and entertaining, he showed us how different cultures brought together are shaping our identity: “by learning other languages we often learn about our own culture”. The lecture featured introductory remarks by Adrienne Clarkson, John Ralston Saul and Antoni Cimolino, the Stratford Festival’s Artistic Director. Saul also led an audience Q&A with Lepage.
Immediately following the lecture, 120 audience members participated in an intimate discussion on the ideas presented by Lepage. Seated at tables, each group was asked to work through pre-set questions and then share their table’s highlights with the room in a conversation moderated by Saul, Lepage and Clarkson. The room was buzzing with excitement as participants eagerly shared how Lepage’s ideas resonated with their own experiences.