I attach my portrait of Maurice Béjart, a great French Choreographer and a rebel in his way and in his art.
He passed away last week…
Maurice Bejart, Innovative
Choreographer of Modern Ballet
Maurice Bejart, for four decades an extraordinarily innovative and influential choreographer and company leader in Europe who often received critical scorn in the English-speaking world, has died. He was 80.
He ‘played an essential role in making a large number of people love contemporary dance, without ever ceding to the easy way out or renouncing his deep demands as an artist,’ she said. ‘He never stopped surprising us, until the end.’
Although he began his ballet career dancing the 19th century classics in pristine versions staged from the choreography notebooks of what is now the Kirov Ballet, Bejart eventually developed a complex style of contemporary ballet. It incorporated movement influences from a number of cultures, along with a flamboyant theatricality very much in the neo-Expressionist tradition of Western Europe but foreign to classical dancing. A key element of that new style was its refusal to accept conventional notions of what kind of dancing, roles and prominence ‘belonged’ to males versus females.