Le Marteau sans maître
Maurice Béjart

Le Marteau sans maître is an abstract work based solely on the relationships between the musical score and movement. Six musicians and a singer find their counterparts on stage in the form of six dancers and one ballerina. However, this geometric minimalism does neither lack an underlying lyricism nor metaphysical extensions. But the spectators must interpret the symbols and construct a world through the path of shapes and sounds.

During the choreographic work on Boulez’s musical score, I often reread the poems by René Char, as they were the source of inspiration for the composer. Two texts in particular caught my attention. I took the liberty of repeating them here:

“Solar Eve, possibility of flesh and dust, I don’t believe in the unveiling of others, but of you alone.”

“Man is but a flower of air held up by earth, cursed by the stars, breathed in by death; the breeze and shadow of this coalition bear it high at times.”

The ballet, already finished, I was rereading the book by M. M. Davy entitled La Connaissance de soi. I came across a text that I would also like to quote regarding this choreography:

“All beings possess an inner sun within; the vital point is to discover it and to cling to it in order to become entirely sun. The Taoist thinking compares man to a base carrying a golden flower. The sun, or luminous flower, represents a hidden treasure, the self hidden by veils.

The most typical symbol of oneself is the sun. Man, who distinguishes himself from others by his power and value, wears a solar crown. The energy captured by the encounter with oneself is a solar energy; sun, god and fire are mythological synonyms with a sense of light, heat and fertility. The symbol of the divine Mother designates the terra beata into which man becomes, through his own transfiguration, when he finds his own sun within him, that is to say his own treasure.”

The choreographic style is a trial of symbiosis between classic sequences that follow each other according to precise mathematical series and not traditional esthetic criteria, as well as movements inspired by far-eastern metaphysics reworked like serial material.

Maurice Béjart

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