Choreographer, filmmaker, dancer and actor
Choreographer, filmmaker, dancer and actor Dirk Sanders, who worked with Brigitte Bardot, Marcello Mastroianni and Jean-Paul Belmondo, died in Paris on July 26. He was 68.
Dutch by ancestry, Sanders was born in Djakarta, Java, studied dance in Germany with Kurt Jooss in the early 1950s and settled in France. His career began as dancer and choreographer, and his boyish charm was admired in performances that included Maurice Bejart’s “Arcane.”
He soon began creating ballets, mixing modern and academic techniques with everyday movement in works such as “Recreation” and “L’Emprise.” One of his most successful ballet was “Maratona di Danza” performed at the Berlin Festival in 1957. Under the name Dick Sanders, he made ballets like “L’Echelle,” based on the “Rashomon” story, and “Hopop,” popular in 1971 in London.
Among those featured in Sanders’ ballets was Muriel Belmondo, whose brother, Jean-Paul, was one of the stars with whom Sanders worked in “Pierrot le Fou,” when the dancer started acting in films. Sanders also starred with Bardot and Mastroianni in Louis Malle’s “Vie Privee.”
Later, he began directing films for television, where “Les Raisins Verts,” a bitter-toned variation of what would become his familiar light fare, marked his first work with frequent collaborator Jean-Cristophe Averty.
He also made documentaries, including “Zizi Jeanmaire Legendaire” and “Les Enfants de la Danse.