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Maurice Bejart
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    (January 1, 1927-November 22, 2007)
    Born in Marseilles, France
    Birth name was Maurice-Jean Berger
    Founded the Ballet de l'Etoile in Marseilles (1954), the Ballet du XXe Siecle in Brussels, Belgium (1960), and the Bejart Ballet Lausanne in Switzerland (1987)
    Choreographed over 200 dances, including 40 full-length ballets
    He took his stage name from Moliere's wife.
    He was a perfectionist who said of his ballets, 'There aren't many that are good, and maybe five or six things that are not too bad.'
    He feuded with Rudolf Nureyev after Nureyev was named director of the Paris Opera Ballet.
    An American critic wrote, 'Every time I see the Bejart dancers, they've lost more muscle tone and added more makeup.'
    He was a populist who wanted ballet to have the same appeal as the movies.
    His pieces used music by everyone from Mozart to Queen.
    His ballets were known for their eroticism.
    Critic Claude Bessy wrote, 'If dance has a public today, it is because of Maurice Bejart.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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