Skip to main content
Jo Tomalin

Bejart Ballet Lausanne at Ballet de l’Opera Paris

By January 8, 2024January 21st, 2024No Comments

The Paris Opera presents guest company Béjart Ballet Lausanne at the Palais Garnier January 4 to 7, 2024. Béjart Ballet Lausanne is a world class company that continues to present works by Maurice Béjart.

This program features recorded music throughout, and comprises four pieces choreographed by Béjart and begins with Tous les hommes presque toujours s’imaginent, a work choreographed by Gil Roman, the company’s artistic director. Set to melodic and sombre music with energised sections by John Zorn, the large company of dancers play angels and tribe members. Costumes of earth tones with fascinating textured long skirts with sashes unify the ballet with the intriguing set of a low circular wall suggesting an amphitheatre. A larger wall center stage creatively becomes a video screen that adds another dimension to the relationships and visual storytelling.

The choreography blends small and larger groups moving across the stage, sometimes with Egyptian motifs. A trio of playful angels is delightful, lovely partnering in another section is elegant and another highlight is a duo that is so moving, fluid and emotive. There is also a contemporary wit in a section of delicious sinewy movement.

The following four pieces are choreographed by Béjart. Bhakti III is fourteen minutes long, is set to traditional indian music and features crisp solos and duos led by Shakti danced by Mari Ohashi and Shiva danced by Alessandro Cavallowith wonderful extensions. The mise en scene is supported by six dancers representing men in prayer on the floor thenstanding, chanting with yogic motifs and finger bell chimes.

The next piece, Duo is 9 minutes of pure joy, set to music by Munir Bashir that begins with flute sounds and perfectly complements the lithe long lines and fluid dance quality of Valerija Frank and Julien Favreau. The choreography includes the pair mirroring each other at times, acrobatic inspired movement – and a beautiful feeling of yearning as the music becomes melodic and haunting.

Dibouk is a glorious seven minute piece – and a main highlight of the program. Set to traditional jewish music, Kathleen Thielhelm and Dorian Browne change directions rapidly and have a visceral push-pull relationship that works so well to drive the visual storytelling. Lighting is creatively used in this piece almost as another character when we begin with a huge shadow on the wall that is ominous, then the lighting becomes warmer. The flow of this piece is wonderful – short and sweet!

Finally, the company performs 7 Danses Grecques, set to music by Mikis Theodorakis, with ensemble dances and two series of outstanding Pas de Deux featuring Kwinten Guilliams, Konosuke Takeoka; Oana Cojocaru, Masayoshi Onuki, Floriane Bigeon, Denovane Victoire. Dramatic moments include when the entire company moves together towards the audience! Big jumps and leaps, a rich blue backdrop, lovely ensemble work and smaller groups dance with precision and grace. Jaunty moments in the choreography are fun and add to the high level of technique and quality of dance in this company.

This is a superlative company performing a wide variety of dance pieces. Highly Recommended!

More Information: