Butoh horseman and circus outrider. Artistic director of Théâtre équestre Zingaro, Bartabas is a notable figure in the equestrian arts, but one who generally, and for whatever reason, rejects the circus label, preferring to fall under the category of contemporary dance (and often appearing at very high profile dance venues). The Centaur and the Animal, his collaboration with Ko Murobushi, was an unpleasant and leaden and self-important, though not uninteresting, piece based on the Comte de Lautréamont's Maldoror and seeming to take aesthetic inspiration from the iconography of religious painting.
I had no reason to expect something so unpleasant. Sadler's Wells have certainly kept quiet about the fact that, while The Centaur and the Animal does indeed have four beautiful, resplendent horses trained by an equestrian legend, Bartabas, and a noble butoh master, Ko Murobushi, onstage, it is also wrapped around the Comte de Lautréamont's vile and unremitting Maldoror.