Dance History

#tbt: Maurice Béjart on Why Glittering Exteriors Just Don't Cut It

In the February 1973 issue of Dance Magazine, one year before he received a Dance Magazine Award, we had a lengthy conversation with Maurice Béjart about his process.

Maya Plisetskaya and Béjart, Bolshoi Theatre, 1978. Photo courtesy DM Archives

The controversial French choreographer likened seeing one of his works to meeting a new person, saying, "When we first meet, we show each other only facades; each of us is hidden deep behind the exterior and must be sought out, to be truly known.

Béjart and Michele Seigneuret in his 1955 Symphonie Pour un Homme Seul. Photo by Serge Lido, Courtesy DM Archives

"And some of us look more deeply into things, and into persons, than others.

George Balanchine and Béjart, 1968. Photo by R. Kayaert, Courtesy DM Archives

"For me, the glittering exterior is never enough; the inner thing must have meaning. Otherwise it is like a prettily wrapped box, but with no present inside."

Laura Proença perches atop Béjart. Photo by Robert Alazraki, Courtesy DM Archives

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