Review: ‘Bejart Into the Light’

Ballet fans will delight in "Bejart Into the Light," a well-crafted, behind-the-scenes look at the great modern choreographer. Director Marcel Schupbach focuses on the gestation and birth of Maurice Bejart's latest work, "Lumiere," fleshing out his portrait of an artist with backstage footage and interviews.

Ballet fans will delight in “Bejart Into the Light,” a well-crafted, behind-the-scenes look at the great modern choreographer. Director Marcel Schupbach focuses on the gestation and birth of Maurice Bejart’s latest work, “Lumiere,” fleshing out his portrait of an artist with backstage footage and interviews. The docu feels very authorized, presenting the choreographer as a calm, cultured man who never loses his temper, and Bejart appears to cooperate fully with the filmmakers. While making no attempt to be a definitive or critical bio, pic’s concentration on method should satisfy dance fans and prove a class act for pubcasters and ancillary.

With his eyebrows arched to a Mephistophelian point, the 75-year-old choreographer still shows remarkable vitality. Docu recalls his oft-reprised “Bolero,” created some 40 years ago, then jumps directly into his intuitive method of creation as he rehearses his Bejart Ballet Lausanne in “Lumiere.” Using no written notes but working patiently with the dancers to “tell a story, to recount a vision,” Bejart draws inspiration from music — not only Bach, but pop singers Jacques Brel and Barbara — as the ballet emerges from his head to the stage.

Bejart Into the Light

Switzerland-France-Belgium

Production

A CAB Prods./Television Suisse Romande, RTBF/K2/Arte/Rhone-Alpes Cinema co-production. (International sales: MK2, Paris.) Produced by Jean-Louis Porchet, Gerard Ruey. Directed by Marcel Schupbach. Screenplay, Jean-Louis Porchet, Schupbach.

Crew

Camera (color), Ehud Goren; editor, David Monti; sound (DTS stereo), Eric Ghersinu. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Special Events), Sept. 2, 2002. French dialogue. Running time: 95 MIN.
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