Dance-Performance

Eonnagata

When: Wed., Feb. 9, 8 p.m. and Thu., Feb. 10, 8 p.m. 2011

Bending genders and genres to avant-garde effect, Canadian performance company Ex Machinapushes the boundaries of contemporary dance and kabuki in Eonnagata, a theater-dance production created and performed by award-winning director and filmmaker Robert Lepage, choreographer Russell Maliphant, and former Paris Opéra Ballet star Sylvie Guillem. Their provocative collaboration merges dance, martial arts, and music to explore the life of Charles de Beaumont, Chevalier d'Eon, a courtier and spy for Louis XVI who lived half his life as a woman and half as a man. Dramatic lighting, atmospheric sound design, and costumes by the late Alexander McQueen make Eonnagata(the name blends the Chevalier's title with onnagata, a kabuki technique in which men dress as women) as beautifully enigmatic as its subject. The production's only US appearance is Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 9-10, at Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Way at Dana St., Berkeley). 8 p.m., $36-$86. 510-642-9988 or CalPerformances.org

Claudia Bauer

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