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Maurice Béjart (1927—2007) French choreographer


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Ballet of the 20th Century

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The Brussels-based company formed in 1960 with Maurice Béjart as director. Attached to the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, its repertoire was a showcase for Béjart's own work, whose spectacular production values and highly coloured emotional content earned the company a high international profile through more than twenty years of touring. Productions included Sacre du printemps (mus. Stravinsky, 1959, which Béjart choreographed for Ballet-Théâtre de Paris, the ensemble which eventually became the Ballet of the 20th Century), Bolero (mus. Ravel, 1960), Tales of Hoffmann (mus. Offenbach, 1961), A la recherche de Don Juan (1962), Les Noces (mus. Stravinsky, 1961), The Merry Widow (mus. Lehár, 1963), Ninth Symphony (mus. Beethoven, 1964), Mathilde (mus. Wagner, 1965), Romeo and Juliet (mus. Berlioz, 1966), Baudelaire (1968), The Firebird (mus. Stravinsky, 1970), Nijinsky, clown de Dieu (music Henry-Tchaikovsky, 1971), Stimmung (mus. Stockhausen, 1972), Le Marteau sans maître (mus. Boulez, 1973), Notre Faust (mus. Bach, 1975), Petrushka (mus. Stravinsky, 1977), Gaîté parisienne (mus. Offenbach-Rosenthal, 1978), Magic Flute (mus. Mozart, 1981), Wien, Wien nur du allein (mus. Schoenberg, Beethoven, and others, 1982), Messe pour le temps futur (mus. Wagner, Beethoven, 1983), Cinq nô modernes (text Mishima, 1984), Malraux; ou, La Métamorphose des dieux (mus. Beethoven, Le Bars, traditional, 1986). The company attracted some major guest artists, among them Rudolf Nureyev, Suzanne Farrell, Judith Jamison, Maya Plisetskaya, Vladimir Vasiliev, Marcia Haydée, and Jean Babilée. In 1987 the company was disbanded when Béjart left the Théâtre de la Monnaie to found a new troupe in Lausanne.

Subjects: Performing artsDance

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