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  • Writer's pictureNereid

Béjart: a true feast for the senses

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Today's performance includes three short choreographies by Maurice Béjart: The Firebird (L'Oiseau de feu), Songs of Wayfarers (Le Chant du Compagnon Errant), and Boléro. Instead of the fantasy created in the classical ballet; in Béjart's creations, it is the shifting of the group of dancers, body movements, and the lighting design that establish the illusion of animality and the wildness within humans.

The Firebird

©Julien Benhamou

Béjart's rendition of The Firebird diverges from the original Ballet Russe performance, what the audience witnesses is a portrayal of the fauna.

As the mysterious first part of the music unfolds, Mathieu Ganio takes the stage as the Firebird. Observing the fluidity of his muscles, joints, and back, it becomes apparent that Mathieu transcends his human form and embodies the majestic essence of a mythical bird.

The most enchanting moment occurs during the final segment of the choreography. Mathieu dances in perfect harmony with Grégory Dominiak, who portrays the Phoenix, generating an illusion of breaking free within the auditorium. Grégory's movements flawlessly mimic a Phoenix preparing for rebirth.

No longer are there two dancers on stage; they cease to exist as separate entities and instead undergo a profound fusion, transcending mere union.

Songs of Wayfarers

The choreographic interpretation by Germain Louvet and Marc Moreau is truly delightful: their dances exhibit similarities, yet each dancer embodies a distinct personality of a young man.

©Julien Benhamou

The contrast between Germain and Marc's styles is exceptional. One dancer's graceful and airy movements juxtapose with the other dancer's robust and energetic motions, similar to water and fire, all dancing with a profound sense of musicality. The harmony between these two performers is reminiscent of the natural elements, where each dancer possesses individuality, yet they are inseparable in their connection.


The choreography of Boléro is the epitome of Béjart's style among all his works. It emphasizes the stability of the body and the precise moments of stillness between each movement.

©Julien Benhamou

At first glance, the choreography may appear simple, without complicated movements. However, it is this minimalistic style that allows us to fully appreciate the incredible body control exhibited by Amandine Albisson. With each perfectly controlled dance step, following the unwavering tempo, it feels as though every part of Amandine's body has transformed into the primary instrument of Boléro—the snare drum.

©Julien Benhamou

The mastery of her movements and the clarity with which she executes each gesture demonstrate a deep understanding of Béjart's vision for Boléro. It is a testament to Amandine's exceptional skill and artistry that she can convey the power and intensity of the piece through the subtle nuances of her body language.

(Full text and article available in 2 other languages on Nereid, elle rêve.)

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