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Maurice Bejart

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Seen in tonight's New York TImes online.

Filed at 7:24 a.m. ET

"LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Maurice Bejart -- who sought to bring ballet to younger audiences with his provocative choreography, stunning critics with his avant-garde dances -- died Thursday, his ballet company said. He was 80.

Bejart, who had been hospitalized last week with heart and kidney problems, died early Thursday morning at Lausanne's University Hospital, said Emmanuel de Bourgknecht, administrator of the Bejart Ballet Lausanne."

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A controversial figure, with no doubt, and dearest friend of Mme. Alonso. This is what she had to say about him:

Alicia Alonso, the prima ballerina assoluta of Cuba, on Thursday lamented the death of French choreographer Maurice Béjart, "a very dear friend and admirer." :

"With the death of Maurice Béjart art loses an immense creator, one of the greatest choreographers of all time. He was an artist of inmense imagination , and also a philosopher of art," said Alonso in a note to the press e-mailed. "A significant detail is that despite his innovative aesthetics, he had the intelligence to understand the sensitivity and love of the classical tradition," said octogenaria director of the National Ballet of Cuba. In 1972, Alonso served as guest artist of "Ballet of the Twentieth Century", directed by Béjart, at the Teatro de la Moneda in Brussels, where she performed "The Swan Lake" exceptionally mounted for her. "In Béjart I had a very dear friend and admirer, and the National Ballet of Cuba an enthusiastic support," said Alonso, stressing that "it is remarkable that a vanguardist like him had this sensitivity, this culture." She recalled the visits by the choreographer to Cuba in the 70's and said that "our company danced some of his ballets and we never missed their messages, their breath."

"The footprints of this creator remain forever in the art of dance,"

Mme. Alicia Alonso.

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=e...en%26ie%3DUTF-8

RIP Maurice Bejart.

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