This instinctive choreography unveils the unconscious associated with the body, translating it into accurate and subtle gestures, conflicting with the societal values and rules.

Production Pierre Cardin

Choreography and staging
Marie-Claude Pietragalla
and Julien Derouault

Patrick Murru

Éric Valentin

Laurent Garnier


Sade, theatre of madmen

This choreography, the most iconic work of the theatre of the body, revisits the period of imprisonment of the philosopher in the asylum of Charenton. It showcases two beautiful collaborations: Alain Delon who gives his voice to the performance and Laurent Garnier who made the musical score.

 Sade, theater of madmen / Claire Tran - photo Pascal Elliottt
Sade, theater of madmen / Marie-Claude Pietragalla - photo Pascal Elliott
Sade, theater of madmen / Marie-Claude Pietragalla and  Julien Derouault - photo Pascal Elliott
Sade, theater of madmen / Marie-Claude Pietragalla - photo Pascal Elliott
Sade, theater of madmen / Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Julien Derouault and Yohann Tete - photo Pascal Elliott
Sade, theater of madmen / Julien Derouault - photo Pascal Elliott

This choreography illuminates the philosopher's imprisonment period in the asylum of Charenton. Sade spends thirty years in prison where he writes most of his work and ends his life amongst the insane. He remains relentlessly attached to the principles which have banished him from three successive regimes: Ancien Régime, Revolution and Empire.

He is like a shadow within the Age of Enlightenment with his desire for global knowledge and the dream of a new world. With his secret knowledge of the human unconscious mechanism, his unbridled search for pleasure and desire exposes hypocrisy. He is the lucid prisoner of a changing world but himself remains unchanged.

With the Marquis, thought is intimately related to a visceral and erotic body, I think so I am and not vice versa. If Sade is not alone in the 18th century to be convinced of the movement of the universe, he is the only one who knows it.
Sade attacks morality of his time; and never ceases examining prejudices in the shade of our unconscious.


We could not remain indifferent from: his freedom of writing, the unreached challenge in any other classical literature, the limitless fantasies, his energetic and powerful style and finally the beauty and mastery of Sade’s language. Sade questions our bodiless minds. As choreographers and observers of movement, we tried here to avoid the mindless body.

Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Julien Derouault






"Sade is finally free!
It's physical. Whether you love dance or not, it takes you on. Because it is nervous, edgy, electrical and electronic, icy and burning, red, black and white. Because it's crazy ... Far from a danger-less show of contemporary eroticism, this ballet resets the clock of desired and glorified body. Eros can dry his tears. Or cry in pleasure."

Le Point

" Sade or"the alchemy of bodies"by Pietragalla. It is the strength of the choreography ... To bring up Sade’s themes: violence, sex, madness, confinement, without falling into caricature. Dance is gracious... Sade's theatre of madmen is beautiful and violent. "

La Voix du Nord


The Théâtre du Corps Pietragalla-Derouault is funded with the support of the DRAC île-de-France, the île-de-France region and the city of Alfortville

DRAC   Ville d'Alfortville



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