Celebrities in Switzerland: Maurice Béjart
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Béjart, Maurice (1927 - ) France / Dancer / VD

The illustrious dancer and choreographer has run the Béjart Ballet Lausanne since 1987. Born in Marseilles in 1927, Maurice Béjart was trained as a classical dancer before touring with the International Ballet in London in 1946. In 1949, he discovered choreographic expressionism with the Cullberg Ballet in Sweden.

In 1955, Maurice Béjart tried his hand at choreography and created Symphonie pour un homme seul (Symphony for a man alone). He met crowning success with his production of Stravinsky'sRite of Spring in 1959. The following year he founded the Ballet du XXe siècle (Ballet of the Twentieth Century) at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. He traveled the world over with this troupe, producing such masterpieces as Ravel'sBolero and Stravinsky'sFirebird.

In 1987, Maurice Béjart settled in Lausanne and created the Béjart Ballet Lausanne. He toured his troupe around the world to such places as Tokyo, Berlin, Rio, Paris and Cairo, producing creations touched with cultural cosmopolitanism. In 1992, he opened the Rudra studio-school of dance in Lausanne.

In 1996, the world of dance celebrated the choreographer's seventieth birthday in Lausanne'sMétropole reception hall. In addition to his artistic creations, Maurice Béjart has devoted himself to theater production and writing. He published his first novel, Le Ballet des Mots in 1994. Maurice Béjart is considered a real asset to Lausanne, for he organizes an annual dance contest that has made the city famous with dance-lovers around the world.

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