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Farah Pahlavi at Maurice Béjart 80th Birthday Party


Darius KADIVAR Reports

GENEVA - Farah Pahlavi the former Empress of Iran was among the many guests at Januray 1st celebrations in Switzerland to mark the 80th birthday of one of the finest choreographers of the 20th century, Maurice Béjart. Béjart made an important contribution to the Persian Ballet Repertoire in the 1960s and 1970s at the Roudaki Hall in Tehran, created under the supervision of the empress, Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi.

Farah Pahlavi and Maurice Béjart ©Farah Pahlavi

Others present in the city of Lausanne to pay homage to the French-born artist on Saturday included Russian-born ballet star Mikail Barashnykof, Soprano Julia Migenes sang "Happy Birthday" and actor Jean-Claude Brialy gave a speech. Former director of the Opera National de Paris dance school, Claude Bessy, joined choreographer John Neumeier and Farah Pahlavi, to extend their best wishes. Maurice Bejart in the photo below thanks everyone.


Born Maurice-Jean de Berger on January 1, 1927 in Marseille in the south of France, Bejart staged 230 new ballet creations during a glittering career, many of them bold, innovative and controversial in their conception.


The dancer, choreographer, and opera director became particularly known for combining classic ballet and modern dance with jazz, acrobatics, and musique concrete -- composition by tape recordings.


After studying in Paris, Bejart toured with the Ballets de Paris with the great French classical dancer Roland Petit (1947-49), then with the International Ballet (1949-50), and the Royal Swedish Ballet (1951-52).


Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi of Iran and Maurice Béjart
at the Shiraz Festival 1976


His latest Ballet is called
Zarathoustra. Le chant de la danse aka Zarathustra. The song of the dance which played with great success throughout Europe Europe.


Author's note:

Recommended Reading :

Maurice Bejart's latest ballet, Zarathustra, triumphs in Lausanne by Darius KADIVAR


About the Author: Darius KADVIAR is a Freelance Journalist, Media Consultant and Film Historian born to a French Mother and Iranian Father.



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