Slideshow Eonnagata

Video Clips

// Tours


  • Sadler's Wells London
    in association with
    Ex Machina & Sylvie Guillem
    conceived and performed by
    Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, Russell Maliphant
    supported by Rolex
  • Lighting Designer
    Michael Hulls
  • Costume Designer
    Alexander McQueen
  • Sound Designer / Sound Manager
    Jean-Sébastien Côté
  • Assistant Director / Stage Manager
    Félix Dagenais
  • Dramaturgy Assistant
    Patrick Caux
  • Production / Tour Manager
    Eric Gingras
  • Technical Director / Head Stagehand
    Eric Gautron
  • Assistant Lighting Designer /
    Lighting Manager
    Louis-Xavier Gagnon-Lebrun
  • Head of Wardrobe / Props Manager
    Isabel Poulin
  • Wigs
    Richard Hansen
  • Martial Arts Trainer
    Olivier Lunardi
  • Technical Consultant
    Tobie Horswill
  • Translator
    Louisa Blair
  • Robert Lepage's Agent
    Lynda Beaulieu
  • Russell Maliphant's Manager
    Phillip Burton
  • Music
    Concerto No. 9 in C minor : Victoria Maesta by Georg Muffat
    Harpsichord Sonata No. 15 in D minor
    by Antonio Soler
    My Idols by Kálmán Balogh
    I am banished to the desert by Maria V. Zubova
    Stabat Mater by Giovanni Pergolesi / Alessandro Scarlatti
    Keyboard Sonata in E minor, Wq. 65/30, H. 106 by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
    Don Juan, Moderato by Christoph Willibald Gluck
    Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008: IV. Sarabande by Johann Sebastian bach
  • Producer for Ex Machina
    Michel Bernatchez
  • Associate Producer, Europe, Japan
    Richard Castelli
  • Associate Producer, United Kingdom
    Michael Morris
  • Associate Producer, The Americas, Asia (except Japan), Australia, NZ
    Menno Plukker
  • Special thanks to:
    Alexander McQueen's team, Jean-Marc Cyr's team, Guy Fortin, Ian Roseberry, Thomy Brière, Marija Djordjevic, Claude Cyr, Gilles Tapie and the Centre for 19th Century French Studies at the University of Toronto.
  • Ex Machina is funded by Quebec's Arts and Literature Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and the City of Quebec.



Career diplomat, part-time soldier and amateur spy, Charles de Beaumont, Chevalier d’Éon, was familiar with both honour and defeat, with glory as well as exile. Beyond the romance of his life, what stands out is his extraordinary audacity. Éon was probably the first spy to use cross-dressing in the pursuit of his duties. This earned him a variety of enemies, including Louis XVI, who forced him to wear a dress all the time. Eventually people no longer knew whether he was a man or a woman.

The creators of Eonnagata asked the question differently. What if Charles de Beaumont was both man and woman? Midway between theatre and dance, Eonnagata pits the fan against the sword, the courtesan against the swordsman. But it also explores the embodying of one sex by the other in what is more an investigation of gender than of sexuality. The work draws on Onnagata, a Kabuki theatre technique that enables actors to represent women in a highly stylized fashion, shedding new light on the Chevalier d’Éon and revealing that his enigma is perhaps the mystery of human identity itself.

The nonconformism of Charles de Beaumont quickly struck a chord with the creators of Eonnagata. Sylvie Guillem is a celebrated rebel of classical ballet who converted to contemporary dance. In the last few years she has dazzled audiences in London, Tokyo, Sydney and Paris with her grace, energy, precision and humour in shows such as Push and Sacred Monsters. Robert Lepage has been pushing the limits of theatre, mixing genres and venturing into little-known territory for over twenty years, and has attracted a large, diverse and enthusiastic following. Russell Maliphant is often described as the most important British choreographer of his generation. He blends martial arts, classical dance and the most recent lighting technologies into works that breathe fluidity and power.

With the support of lighting designer Michael Hulls, costume designer Alexander McQueen and sound designer Jean-Sébastien Côté, Guillem, Lepage and Maliphant have created a strange and unique crossing-over from dream to afterlife – and back again.

1½ hours, no interval

Witness the work in progress by viewing the video clips which are made up of images of the filming of the documentary featuring Sylvie Guillem, directed by Françoise Ha Van and produced by À Droite de la Lune.


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