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In Memorium, 11-23: Maurice Bejart
The Show Must Go On
By The Dance Insider

LAUSANNE -- Maurice Bejart, who revolutionized 20th century ballet as a form of expression, passed away Thursday after several weeks of hospitalization, the Foundation Bejart Lausanne which encompassed Bejart's company and his Rudra school announced Thursday.

"We have lost the choreographer who profoundly revolutionized dance in the 20th century," the foundation said in a prepared statement posted on its website. "Many dancers have lost a father, a teacher, a source of inspiration.... We have all lost a great friend, a creator of exceptional fertility, an artist who was a visionary and a humanist. We're feeling an immense sadness, but at the same time, we thank Maurice Bejart for the inestimable treasure he has left us."

The foundation encompassed the latest dance company and school that Bejart had directed over 50 years, in addition to creating and staging works on the leading ballet companies in the world.

Paris Opera Ballet star Nicolas Le Riche, speaking on the French television network France 2 Thursday night, called Bejart "a creator who gave a new breath to dance." The network, which ran the story second on its broadcast after an update on the national railroad strike, indicating dance's importance on the national scene, also ran footage of Bejart stating, "I find that ballet is often a futile art because it's *beautiful.* Dance should engage" the world.

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