Blue Man Group
Formed in New York in the late 1980s, when?three young men wanted to create something different,?the BMG?are described as a miscellaneous, experimental rock and performance art, and have sold a total of 16 million tickets for their theatrical productions in permanent bases in New York, Orlando, LA, Toronto and Berlin.
Despite their mass appeal, the BMG is surrounded by mystery, but this is part of their attraction, as 'blue man' Aurelien?Bernard explains: "That’s why it works ? that's how we create the experience. There's only so much you can say with words? you can say so much [more] with your movements, with your eyes, with music".
The men are blue because it creates something to look at that is deeper than if you saw just another human on stage. "Blue takes the life-force out of objects", says Aurelien,?"so it is makes us think.?The baldness?shows vulnerability? like a baby. The Blue Man is vulnerable, innocent, and curious of the world".
He also explains that this is why the show appeals to young and old alike: "The character [of the Blue Man] is the part of ourselves that is the creative part. The character transforms and creates objects, and invents new things with what is around him".
In the Megastar World Tour show, the Blue Men come across an instuctional DVD of how to create the perfect rock concert experience. Aurelien says:??"It’s something you cannot describe, you have to see it to believe it!
"The rock concert is a modern day ritual. It's where everyone comes together", believes Aurelien. "The essence of the show is the combination of different mediums:? theatre, comedy, music, science and multimedia? and the idea is to use them well.
"We want people to find the child in themselves. It is a show to de-programme adults to have the feeling of wonder and awe that they had when they were kids".
The BMG's energetic tour production lays emphasis on dynamics, rhythm and audience participation. Aurelien says, "It's a very interactive show. The audience is the fourth person".
The show is a shining response to modernity and the technology of today, but he points out that to create an effective act it doesn't always have to be like this. He comments on the paint on drum act (see video): "It's very visual, very simple and?very beautiful".
The blue men use their live stage as a playground for music and art ? but seemingly forgoing all rules.
Aurelien has performed in New York, Los Angeles, London and Berlin and is taking over the current tour on its European leg. When asked about his aspirations for the future, he says: "It's good in a way, because my life's never been planned. I go where life takes me".
As the company grows, it remains true to its vision of providing exciting experiences in a variety of media which appeal to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds.
When asked whether the shows would be relevant in 20 or even 50 years in the future, he muses, "As long as we keep the humour and observing our world ? being reflective and creative about it ? it will always be relevant. It is intemporal".
What would be?his message or advice to up and coming artists?
"Don't be afraid of being yourself.? We all put a mask on in society that we all have to be or behave a certain way. In a way it's rude, because we can all live together. We have to remove this and not be scared of expressing ourselves the way we want. Continue doing what you do best, trust your instinct? [and] work hard".
The New York Times describes the BMG as 'a radical test of the boundaries of commercial entertainment'.?
'The best light-hearted amusement you could expose yourself to' is the verdict of the American magazine, Variety.
You can find the BMG at the CIA on Fri 15 May 2009. Tickets are £39.50.
More information on the arts?in our Directory.