20 June 2024

A Sold-Out Performance by the Béjart Ballet Lausanne at the Beaulieu Theater

From June 14 to 20, around 10’000 spectators enjoyed the program danced “at home” by the company led by interim director Julien Favreau. The creations of Valentina Turcu and Giorgio Madia, followed by Maurice Béjart‘s mesmerizing Bolero, won everyone over…


The same scenario repeated for six evenings: as the show came to an end and the dancers made their final movements on stage, the audience erupted in cheers that were barely perceptible at first, but then slowly built up to a powerful and vibrant ovation! From June 14 to 20, close to 10’000 spectators attended the six sold-out (!) performances given by the Béjart Ballet at the Beaulieu Theater in Lausanne, fulfilling Julien Favreau‘s wish at the start of the series: “Celebrate together the festive spirit that Maurice held so dear!¨”

The bold program, imagined two years ago by Gil Roman, was a complete success: with two original works and a signature ballet of the founder of the BBL. “Could a better program have been concocted?” asked Jean Pierre Pastori for the daily newspaper 24 Heures, the day after the premiere. “The three selected pieces complement and respond to each other (…) dance is expressed in all tones: gravity, joy, and sensuality.”

Valentina Turcu trained at the Ecole-atelier Rudra Béjart Lausanne and danced for the company in the early 2000s. This is the context in which the Slovenian artist imagined for the BBL the danced version of Hamlet, William Shakespeare’s powerful theatrical monument. Rise and fall, love and betrayal, hatred and murder: the black mass has been said. The actors in this tragedy explore and surrender completely to their torments in a perfectly timed exploration of the human soul (with compositions by Max Richter, Muse and Cigarettes After Sex). The dancers involved in this beautiful project include Oscar Eduardo Chacón as Hamlet, Solène Burel and Kathleen Thielhelm as Gertrude (alternating roles), Min Kyung Lee and Bianca Stoicheciu as Ophelia (alternating roles), Julien Favreau as King Hamlet and Jeronimas Krivickas as Claudius.

For just one title – the 14-minute-long Rhapsody in Blue, composed by George Gershwin in 1924 – the Italian choreographer Giorgio Madia opened the second half of the evening with a piece that mixes classical, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary dance, theater and musical. For his second collaboration with the BBL (Swan Song in 2016), the former soloist of the Ballet du XXe Siècle and the BBL imagined a ceremony that nurtures the libertarian spirit of the Russian-born American composer who died in 1937. His Rhapsody in Blue tastes like freedom and is an ode to dance.

The last word – the last trance! – went to Maurice Béjart and his Bolero. “This wonderful, erotically intense, dreamlike ballet with music by Ravel, sweeps everything in its path” (according to journalist Patrick Ferla). Julien Favreau and Elisabet Ros danced this ballet in alternation since 2013. Kathleen Thielhelm and Mari Ohashi now share the role of “The Melody” as the first two soloists on the red table. Red as passion, red as sacrifice, red as mystery. A mystery that has been captivating the world for more than 60 years, ever since January 10, 1961, when Duska Sifnios created the role at the Monnaie Theater in Brussels. And who could forget Jorge Donn? The eternal…

Next BBL event in Lausanne: December 13 to 19 at the Beaulieu Theater. This is your chance to (re)discover Maurice Béjart‘s most rock and roll ballet, Ballet for Life. Music, Queen, Mozart, and Versace costumes, the way it should be! Tickets are available.


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