Music: Stoned-Age Allegory

To his legions of supporters, he is avant-garde and brilliant. To his many detractors, he is passé and boring. Actually, Choreographer Maurice Béjart of the Brussels-based Ballet of the 20th Century is all of those things. Part iconoclast, part P.T. Barnum, part aesthetic bluffer, Béjart deliberately gears his creations not to the sophisticated superegos of the modern dance audience but to the sensation-seeking ids of the young generation and the leisure class.

His stated mission is messianic. He is out to reach a new and bigger audience—the neophytes who may not necessarily understand or...

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