Éric Vu-An and Maurice Béjart

Maurice Béjart (1988) by Erling Mandelmann - 2.jpg

Maurice Béjart chose Éric Vu-An to perform the male lead in The Rite of Spring and the starring role in Boléro before choreographing Mouvement-Rythme-Étude for him in 1985 and Arépo in 1986. At that point, Vu-An’s career as a dancer was reaching international heights. He became one of Béjart’s favorite dancers and was cast in many leading roles. Later, Vu-An staged Béjart’s Cantate 51. 

While Vu-An danced at the Paris Opera, there was a storm of drama between choreographer Béjart and director Rudolf Nureyev about Vu-An’s status in the company. Béjart wanted to grant him the role of étoile (star), but Nureyev insisted on maintaining his secondary rank as grand sujet. The matter became so heated that Béjart and Nureyev publicly castigated each other, challenging each other’s authority over the assignment of dancers in the company and even accused each other of lying. This resulted in Vu-An leaving the company in 1987 “until things settle down there.” He ended up finding success as an independent artist, and eventually returned to Paris as a guest soloist.

More about Maurice Béjart

Maurice Béjart was known for creating several dance companies and dance schools including the Mudra School, the Mudra Afrique School, and the renowned Rudra School. Béjart earned many cultural and artistic awards during his lifetime. His best-known piece of choreography was set to French composer Maurice Ravel’s Boléro.


Maurice Bejart, Wikipedia
Éric Vu-An Makes Way In Rough Waters, The LA Times

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