This powerful, impure work consecrates the encounter of three major and magical artists – Sylvie Guillem, a rebellious star of classical ballet converted to contemporary dance, Robert Lepage, the tireless stage pioneer and Russell Maliphant, the renowned British choreographer whose energetic pieces combine classical dance and martial arts.
As the piece shifts from ancestral Japan to Europe at the time of the French Revolution, this dynamic trio (in magnificent costumes by designer Alexander McQueen) brings to life Charles de Beaumont, also known as the Chevalier d’Éon. A career diplomat, occasional soldier and cross-dressing spy, this nonconformist was mischievously able to juggle masculine and feminine identities. Through the prism of onnogota, a Kabuki theatre technique whereby men play highly stylized female roles, Éonnagatadoes not seek to uncover the mystery of Éon but instead to take us into the very heart of the mysteries and delights of male-female duality. Combining West and East and the lady’s fan with the sword, the three artists mix yin and yang to the rhythm of Japanese drums, gleefully dismantling boundaries.
Sadler’s Wells London
presents in association with Ex Machina et Sylvie Guillem
Conceived and performed : Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, Russell Maliphant
Supported by Rolex
Lighting Design : Michael Hulls
Costume Design : Alexander McQueen
Sound Design : Jean-Sébastien Côté
Coproduction : Festival TransAmériques, spielzeit’Europa | Berliner Festspiele (Allemagne)
Montreal Sponsor : HYDRO-QUÉBEC
In association with Place des Arts
Text: Stéphane Lépine
English Translation: Neil Kroetsch
Photos: Erick Labbé