Bidisha discusses Eonnagata, a Sadler's Wells project from dancer Sylvie Guillem, director Robert Lepage, choreographer Russell Malipant and fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
Bidisha discusses Eonnagata, a new Sadler's Wells collaboration between dancer Sylvie Guillem, director Robert Lepage, choreographer Russell Malipant and fashion designer Alexander McQueen. Its story focuses on the transvetite spy and diplomat Charles de Beaumont, the Chevalier d'Eon. A member of the King's Secret, a network of spies under the control of Louis XV, de Beaumont was perhaps the first spy to use transvestism in the furtherance of his duties and his true gender was a source of speculation, even provoking public bets in the late 18th century. The project draws its inspiration partly from the ancient Japanese Kabuki technique of Onnegata, in which male actors portray female roles in an extremely stylised fashion.