Last updated September 5th 2016

The Béjart Ballet Lausanne will open the dance season at the Israeli Opera in October 2016 with two exciting programs: An evening of works from the company repertoire, including Boléro; and Béjart’s Ballet for Life, dedicated to Freddie Mercury and the dancer Jorge Donn, with music by Queen and Mozart.

Boléro/Photo: Lauren Pasche

Boléro/Photo: Lauren Pasche

Maurice Béjart’s Boléro, choreographed to the mesmerizing music of Maurice Ravel, will feature 50 male dancers, in a work of sensual intensity. This cohort of men will include 20 Israeli dancers, to be selected in upcoming auditions. The work is known to many due to its dramatic presence as the last scene in Claude Lelouch’s musical epic film Les uns et les autres (1981, distributed in the US under the title Boléro), yet the dance premiered in 1961. Béjart initially created the work for Yugoslav ballerina Duska Sifnios, who danced solo on a large table top, surrounded by seated men who then began to dance as the music rose. Béjart’s Boléro received a new interpretation in 1979, when dancer Jorge Donn performed the solo, as he did in the Lelouch film version. There will be two performances of Boléro in Israel, on one evening the solo will be performed by a female dancer, and on the other by a male dancer.


Program A will also feature:

Piaf – featuring the songs of Edith Piaf, one of the figures – along with Shakespeare, Molière, Baudelaire, Mozart and others, who fascinated Béjart. Choreography: Maurice Béjart; costumes: Walid Aouni. The dance premiered in Tokyo, 1988.

Bhakti – set to traditional Indian music. “Through love, the worshiper identifies with the divinity, and, every time, he relives the legend of his God who is himself one of the faces of reality and unnamed.” (from the Béjart Ballet Lausanne program notes). Choreography: Maurice Béjart; Scenery and costumes: Germinal Casado. The dance premiered at the 1968 Avignon Festival.

Anima Blues – Gil Roman: “I imagined this ballet as a long blues ballad inspired by the work of Swiss psychiatrist and essayist, Carl Gustav Jung: ‘Each man has a woman within him, and this feminine element is what I call the Anima.’ One of my dancers, Kateryna Shakina, gave me the inspiration of Audrey Hepburn’s silhouette, and her voice, woven to Thierry Hochstätter’s and J. B. Meier’s original score, guided me throughout this project.” Choreography: Gil Roman; Music: Thierry Hochstätter and J.B. Meier; Costumes: Henri Davila. The dance premiered at the Lausanne Opera House in 2013.

Ballet for Life/Photo: Ilia Chkolnik

Ballet for Life/Photo: Ilia Chkolnik

Ballet for Life, celebrating the lives of dancer Jorge Donn and Freddie Mercury, with music by Queen and Mozart, and costumes designed by Gianni Versace, will compose the second program to be performed in Israel. Born in Buenos Aires, Jorge Donn was a lead dancer in Béjart’s Ballet of the 20th Century, his longtime companion and muse. In 1972 he received the Dance Magazine Award, recognizing his “magnetic star quality and his total dedication to Béjart.”

Béjart Ballet Lausanne was founded by choreographer Maurice Béjart (1927 – 2007) in 1987. Gil Roman, a dancer in Béjart’s Ballet of 20th Century, who performed in most of the choreographer’s major works for over 30 years, succeeded Béjart as artistic director of the company in 2007.


Program A: Boléro, Piaf, Bhakti, Anima Blues

Tuesday, October 4th at 21:00, Wednesday, October 5th at 20:00.

Program B: Ballet for Life

Friday, October 7th at 13:00 and 21:00; Saturday, October 8th at 16:00.

Ticket prices range from 339 NIS to 369 NIS, and may be purchased via the Israeli Opera website. The production of Béjart Ballet Lausanne in Israel by Pinhas Postel.

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