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Maurice Béjart

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Maurice Béjart
Béjart in 1988
Born
Maurice-Jean Berger

(1927-01-01)1 January 1927
Marseille, France
Died22 November 2007(2007-11-22) (aged 80)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Occupation(s)Dancer, choreographer and opera director

Maurice Béjart (French: [beʒaʁ]; 1 January 1927 – 22 November 2007) was a French dancer, choreographer and opera director. Béjart ran the Béjart Ballet Lausanne in Switzerland. He helped make new types of ballet.[1] After his death, he was given Swiss citizenship.

Biography[change | change source]

Maurice-Jean Berger was born in Marseille, France, in 1927. He was the son of the philosopher Gaston Berger. Berger watched a recital of Serge Lifar. This recital inspired him to make his life about dancing. Maurice studied under (was a student of) Mathilde Kschessinska when he lived in South France.

Directing dancers -Brussels 1976
Béjart directing dancers Rita Porlvoorde and Bertrand Pie in Pli selon Pli, Brussels, 1976.

In 1945, Béjart started working at the Opéra de Marseille. After 1946, he studied under Madam Rousanne Sarkissian, Léo Staats, Madam Lyubov Yegorova and Olga Preobrajenska in Paris. In 1948, he trained with Janine Charrat, Yvette Chauviré, and Roland Petit. He also studied under Vera Volkova at London.[2][3][4] In 1954, he created the Ballet de l'Étoile company. This company stopped running in 1957. In 1960, he founded the Ballet du XXe Siècle in Brussels. This company would stop running in 1987.

In 1973, with the Ballet du XXe siecle, Béjart first premiered "Golestan". This ballet was based on Iranian traditional music. In 1987 he moved to Lausanne in Switzerland. Here, he founded the Béjart Ballet Lausanne.

Directing dancers at the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Switzerland, 1988.

Béjart made many works. One of these was a remade version of The Nutcracker. This was first performed in 2000. It used Tchaikovsky's original score, but changed the plot and characters.

One of Béjart's best pieces was choreography set to the song Boléro. The New York Times called Béjart's "Bolero" one of his most popular dances.[5]

Dance schools[change | change source]

Béjart founded many dance schools:

Awards[change | change source]

Béjart was given many awards for his work.[6]

Movies[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Norwich, John Julius (1985–1993). Oxford illustrated encyclopedia. Judge, Harry George., Toyne, Anthony. Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-19-869129-7. OCLC 11814265.
  2. Maurice Béjart
  3. Béjart, Maurice (1927-2007) Archived 4 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Maurice Béjart 1922~2007" Shinsokan Dance Magazine, Special Issue Volume XVII No.4 2008, Japan
  5. Dunning, Jennifer (25 November 1985). "Dance: Bejart Company Performs 'Bolero'". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  6. Cruickshank, Judith (24 November 2007). "Maurice Béjart: Influential choreographer who attracted huge audiences to ballet". The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  7. "Bisherige Preisträger*innen" (in German). Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.

Other websites[change | change source]