Bejart's "The Firebird"

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Well bart, being as it is a depiction of a revolutionary group there are no princes or enchanted creatures anywhere in the vicinity. There's a group - they move around - Firebird strips to the red pants - he falls for the common good and is then resurrected. Bejart uses one of the Firebird Suites, which is an abbreviated version of the ballet's music.

I would hate that anyone's first experience with Bejart would be the Nutcracker. He is acclaimed in middle/southern Europe and consequently allowed a certain degree of self-indulgence in later life. But for someone who knows nothing about him the focus on his person in the Nut will seem annoying and plain weird (esp if one expects the standard children at Christmas, classical dancing affair).

The main barrier between the somewhat detached english/american audiences and Bejart is, I think, the lack of irony in Bejart's works. He takes on grand (or grandiose) themes and he is literal and earnest which can often translate as being naive, kitchy, lacking self awareness and/or intellectual rigor. In this respect he is a very non-postmodern artist (despite abundant references left and right to other works).

But whatever the english speaking world may think of his peculiar blend of ballet, theater and various dance styles, he is a capable choreographer. There are many memorable moments of dance in his work (of which as a kid in the 80s I saw tons on tv)

It is also unfortunate that much of his work reflects the climate of the 60s-70s so well (idealism, leftist tendencies, narcissism, experimentation etc) - naturally it now seems dated. But it was exactly that resonance that put people (esp young men) in the theater in the first place. I know a number of older men, now in their 40s-50s, whose first experience of dance as a vital art was Bejart.

edited to add that I was posting at the same time as Gina Ness - she describes it much more vividly. Gina you remember correctly there are about 10 dancers dressed in red in the end.

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