BEJART BALLET LAUSANNE’S ‘Bolero’.
(photo credit: ILIA CHKOLNIK)
Maurice Bejart, one of the leading contemporary creators since the 1950s, will be remembered for many productions – but mostly for his overtly sexual Rite of Spring (1959), a shocking rendition at the time, and his compelling Bolero (1961), which won over the packed hall in Tel Aviv last night.
Prolific, yet often controversial among critics, his companies thrived and audiences still react strongly to his works, which often rely on basically simple structures, easy to follow themes, suggestive moves and captivating music.
Program A. opened with Bejart’s Piaf, a tribute to the legendary singer by a large group of male dancers, a common gender choice in his creations.
Toward the end, the entire cast came onstage bare-chested, just the way Bejart always prefers them.
Afterward came Bhakti III, a duet based on Indian music and ballet-like moves. Perhaps the stage seemed too sparse, so six male dancers were spread on the floor, purely for decorative purposes.
After yet another dance, the fresh and well crafted Anima Blues by Gil Roman – the company’s highly capable artistic director since Bejart’s Demise (2007) – came the moment everyone was waiting for, the magnetic Bolero, set to Maurice Ravel’s mesmerizing and suggestive score.
Dancer Elizabeth Ros danced on a raised round red stage, while 40 male dancers hardly kept their seats around her, overwhelmed by passion.
Her inviting moves, a few Sirtaki steps for extra virility, and the culminating music forced them closer and closer until they all plunged toward her at the piece’s climax. That’s Bejart at his best.Bejart Ballet Lausanne will be performing Program B. on October 7 at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. and October 8 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
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