Beyond traditional sponsorship, the collaboration between Jaquet Droz and the Béjart Ballet is the collision of two worlds that are perfect artistic counterparts and the fusion of personalities that share the same passion for movement and the inestimable value of these rare and fleeting moments where Beauty occurs.
On the one hand is the dance phenomenon Maurice Béjart, a guiding light in the art of contemporary choreography. Fundamentally liberated, authentically visionary, he was one of the "monstres sacrés" of dance until his passing in 2007. Born in Marseille in 1927, he made his debut in Paris in 1946. After 30 years in Brussels with the famous Ballets du 20ème siècle, in 1987 he created the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, and in doing so, anchored in Switzerland a revolutionary approach to live performance. His performances, such as his Sacre du printemps (1959), his Symphonie pour un homme seul, his Oiseau de feu are all inescapable points of reference in the world of dance, today perpetuated by Gil Roman and the dancers of the Béjart Ballet Lausanne.
On the other hand, Pierre Jaquet-Droz, born in 1721 and one of the most virtuoso watchmakers of the Enlightenment. An excellent technician, an astute businessman, he was also a true artist who knew how to understand, and even to anticipate, the taste of men and women of his time. His clocks, singing watches, objets d’art and humanoid automata were the fascination of Europe's royal courts. Today, thanks to the vision of Marc Alexander Hayek, President of Jaquet Droz, the brand has reconnected not only with its own past, but also with a quest that has been ever-present since its creation: the quest for excellence at every moment, where the watchmaker's ability to surpass limitations is aligned with the best of the decorative arts.
This collaboration is also the encounter of two parallel and completely consistent philosophies. For both Maurice Béjart and for Pierre Jaquet-Droz, the moment of aesthetic revelation has always been accompanied by an incredible obsession with effort and surpassing limits.
A veritable magician of the human form, Maurice Béjart expressed a lifelong sensitivity that is never far from the unique poetry of the Musician, the Draughtsman and the Writer, these three automata designed by Pierre Jaquet-Droz that capture with astonishing realism each movement of the hands, eyes and arms.
But this partnership also represents a shared vision of a legacy, succession, and the way of ensuring the transmission of a living history. At La Chaux-de-Fonds, Montres Jaquet Droz SA has ensured that the exclusive know-how of the brand has been kept intact, in the image of the Ateliers d’Art. It has also seized the opportunity to espouse the modernity of the 21st century, just as Pierre Jaquet-Droz espoused the modernity of the 18th century. In Lausanne, Gil Roman is the custodian of the life work of Maurice Béjart. For this unusual artist, who also choreographs his own performances, this legacy is an extraordinary challenge, because by its very essence, movement escapes any attempt to be archived.
Between a star-studded past, a successful present and a future that is rich in promise, this one-of-a-kind partnership highlights the full relevance of the words of Maurice Béjart, written in his memoirs entitled Un instant dans la vie d’autrui: "Escaping one's own chronology is a joy that dreams bestow."