If I’ve been able to meet late Maurice Béjart, I owe it mainly to Michel Robert, who had been following him for years, in his capacity of biographe, if I’m not mistaken.
It was a buddy from the entertainment world, Xavier Lechanteur, who introduced me to Michel. The most funny part of it is that actually I rediscovered Michel, whom I knew from my little childhood. Indeed, he used to live a couple of houses down my street, in Woluwé-Saint-Pierre.
Maurice Béjart granted me two meetings in his dressing room at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. During the first meeting, I told him about my project. Even though he was a bit diminished due to his illness, his eyes covered with heavy make-up hadn’t lost a bit of their magnetic intensity. He listened to me politely. I told him the story of my film Glenn (which would become, a decade later, The Droid). I wanted him to take care of the choreography of the robots and of their flying patterns. Then, I left him and we agreed to reconvene a few days later.
When I returned, still under the friendly chaperoning of Michel, Béjart welcomed me once again in his dressing room. He stared at me silently, no need to say I felt I was being pierced by a pair of arrows, and thne, he told me, essentially : “I know nothing about robots. They’re not my world. I can’t help you”. I must admit I was a little disappointed; between the two meetings I had started building hopes. I simply told him how sorry I was about his decision, but that I understood it. I also added that I had to try!
And then, while I was about to leave, he gave me a present:
He asked me “How old are you?”.
39, I said. It was in 2009.
And he concluded “I myself, only really started when I was about your age and I did exactly as you’re doing, I knocked on all doors”.
Crédit photo: https://resize.over-blog.com/400×400-ct.jpg?http://we.over-blog.com/0/00/12/38/2011-03/Maurice-Bejart-.jpg