A legend passes away
23 November 2007, BRUSSELS - The French choreographer Maurice Béjart has died in Switzerland at the age of eighty. Béjart is considered to have been one of the innovators of twentieth century dance.
23 November 2007
BRUSSELS - The French choreographer Maurice Béjart has died in Switzerland at the age of eighty. Béjart is considered to have been one of the innovators of twentieth century dance.
The Frenchman shot to fame here in Brussels with his Twentieth Century Ballet group and Belgium always held a special place in his heart. Maurice Béjart had been suffering ill health for several years.
Nevertheless, he was still closely involved in the work of his Béjart Ballet Lausanne company. Béjart Ballet Lausanne is currently working on a new show "Around the World in 80 Hours" which will premier on 20 December.
The Twentieth Century Ballet
Béjart was born in 1927 in the southern French city of Marseille.
He caused a storm in 1950s Paris with his "Symphony for a Lonely Man." Béjart made classic ballet sensual, spontaneous and sometimes even wild. He first achieved international fame in the 1960s with his Brussels-based company The Twentieth Century Ballet.
Béjart was the house choreographer at the Brussels Royal Opera and set up the Mudra Dance School. Béjart's students included the world-renowned Flemish choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.
Poor personal chemistry between Maurice Béjart and the then Head of the Royal Opera Gerard Mortier is believed to have been behind his decision to move his company to the Swiss city of Lausanne.
Béjart was back in Belgium last year to present two new productions "L'amour - La danse" (Love -Dance) and "Brel et Barbara - L'art d'être grand-père - Boléro" (Brel and Barbara - the Art of Being a Grandfather -Boléro) in Antwerp.
He always lived his work and often remarked that "I'll be happy as long as I'm healthy and can carry on working".
The events organiser Music Hall has a festival featuring Béjart's work planned for next year in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp.
[Copyright Flanders news 2007]
Subject: Belgian news