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K-State Today

November 20, 2015



Poll publishes in the latest issue of Canadian Theatre Review

By Melissa Poll

Tai Wei Foo as Xiao Ling in Robert Lepage's Le Dragon Bleu/The Blue Dragon

Melissa Poll, instructor in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, published "The Hidden Costs of Aspiring to Global City Status: Robert Lepage, Vancouver and Twenty-First Century China Collide at the 2010 Cultural Olympiad" in the latest issue of Canadian Theatre Review.

A startling correspondence across former Olympic and Paralympic host cities is that aggressive social welfare cuts have followed the event. These cuts have serious material consequences for those very artists and minority groups that proved so central to winning bids and staging opening and closing ceremonies.

Five years after the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, with the city's arts communities still recovering from a series of provincial funding cuts that actually began in 2009, and with post-Olympics development projects encroaching on artist live-work spaces, this special issue of Canadian Theatre Review brings together scholars, artists, and cultural producers to ask what kinds of resources remain after a mega-event has left town? How do artists and companies adapt to new economic circumstances and leverage audience attention for and investment in new projects? And what might a reading of the specific aesthetic, social, and affective legacies of different Olympics- and Paralympics-related performances tell us about the state of arts and culture in Vancouver today?

Poll's contribution, "The Hidden Costs of Aspiring to Global City Status: Robert Lepage, Vancouver and Twenty-First Century China Collide at the 2010 Cultural Olympiad," examines the selection of The Blue Dragon, a sequel to The Dragons' Trilogy crafted for the international festival circuit by Robert Lepage and Ex Machina, as a top-billed event in Vancouver’s 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Contextualized by the mega-event legacy of development in Vancouver, including the sale of Expo land to the wealthy Hong-Kong businessman Li Ka-shing and the post-Olympics spike in real estate 25 years later, this essay interrogates the ways in which The Blue Dragon represents the West’s uneasy relationship with a rapidly globalizing China and highlights the ethos driving contemporary racial tensions in Vancouver.