Reviewed by Paula Citron
Sadler’s Wells London
Created and performed by Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage and Russell Maliphant
Nov. 18 and 19, 2010
Let’s start with the heresy. Eonnagata is a curiously unsatisfying production. Despite the three towering talents who created the show, there are parts that are a yawn fest.
The creators and performers are iconic Canadian director Robert Lepage, revered French ballerina Sylvie Guillem, and acclaimed British contemporary choreographer Russell Maliphant.
Their subject was made for theatre. Charles de Beaumont, le Chevalier d’Eon was an 18th century cross-dressing soldier, diplomat and spy.
Throw in the gorgeous gender-bending costumes by the late British couturier Alexander McQueen, the deft sound mix of baroque and modern music by Jean-Sébastien Côté, and the atmospheric lighting of Michael Hulls, the forces are in place for a stunning evening of dance theatre. But that, alas, does not quite happen.
One can’t fault the performances, but one can take the artists to task for their self-indulgence. Eonnagata’s fusion of the brilliant and the pedestrian makes for a production with a decidedly split personality.
Eonnagata continues at the Sony Centre tonight.