- Béjart, Maurice
- (1927- )Maurice Béjart, the pseudonym of Maurice Jean Berger, was born in Marseilles, France, on 1 January 1927. A dancer and choreographer, he studied in Paris and London and performed with the Ballet de l'Étoile dance group in Paris in 1953. He formed his own company—the Ballet Théâtre de Paris — in 1957. Based on the success of its 1959 production of Le sacre du Printemps, Béjart was named director of the Ballet du XXe Siècle at the Théâtre royal de la Monnaie. The creator of extravagant ballet productions, including Les Quatre Fils Aymon (1961), Nijinsky (1972), and Le Martyr de St. Sebastien (1986), Béjart later expanded beyond Western traditions to draw on Eastern cultures (Raga , The Kabuki ). Expounding the universality of dance, Béjart employs an expressionist style that incorporates jazz and avant-garde music, nontraditional dance forms, and unusual settings.He exerted an enormous influence on ballet in Belgium. Following a conflict with the director of the Théâtre, Béjart moved the ballet to Lausanne, Switzerland, in June 1987, and he became director of the Ballet Béjart that year.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.