[gha] Re: World Citizen of Culture

  • From: Syed Salman Chishty <salmanchishty@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 00:54:08 +0530

"Like Ismaeel(A.S), sacrifice your own self in the love your Beloved. A night's 
sacrifice brings the dawn of a new day." Mevlana Rumi's wisdom on the 
auspicious occasion of Eid al Adhaa. Eid Mubarrak Dua's n Blessings from Ajmer 
"Love towards All, Malice towards None"            - Sultan ul Hind Gharib 
Nawaz Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (r.a.) -Haji Syed Salman Chishty 
Gaddi Nashin - Khadim e Khawaja Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (r.a.) - 
Dargah Khawaja Saheb Ajmer Sharif Director - Chishty Foundation Ajmer Sharif - 
Humanitarian Non-Profit Trust - Regd. by Govt. Of India Postal Add : Chishty 
Manzil ,Jhalra Street ,Dargah Sharif                   Ajmer - 305001 . 
Rajasthan ,India Tel  : +91 145 2429473Cell : +91 9829174973 

From: Wadlowz@xxxxxxx
Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2013 11:26:28 -0400
Subject: [gha] World Citizen of Culture
To: gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx



Foundations for the New Humanism
Rene Wadlow | October 12th, 
Topics: WFI 

Courtesy of 

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the Decade 2013-2022 as 
the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures building on the 
efforts of the UNESCO General Conference which had called for “the development 
of a universal global consciousness” based on dialogue and cooperation in a 
climate of trust and mutual understanding” and for a “new humanism for the 
twenty-first century.” Thus, we look at the creative efforts of individuals who 
built bridges of understanding over the divides of cultures, social classes and 
ethnicity to create a foundation for the New Humanism.

Maurice Béjart: World Citizen of Culture

In a world where there is both appreciation and fear of the mixing of 
cultural traditions, Maurice Béjart was always a champion of blending cultural 
influences.  He was a world citizen of culture and an inspiration to all 
who work for a universal culture.  His death on 22 November 2007 was a 
loss; but he serves as a forerunner of what needs to be done so that beauty 
overcome the walls of separation.  One of the Béjart’s most impressive 
dance sequences was Jérusalem, Cité de la Paix in which he stressed the need 
reconciliation and mutual cultural enrichment.

Béjart followed in the spirit of his father, Gaston Berger (1896-1960), 
philosopher, administrator of university education, and one of the first to 
start multi-disciplinary studies of the future.  Gaston Berger was born in 
Saint-Louis de Sénégal, with a French mother and a Sénégalese father. Sénégal, 
and especially Leopold Sedar Sengore pointed with pride to Gaston Berger as a 
“native son” — and the second university after Dakar was built in Saint-Louis 
and carries the name of Gaston Berger.  Berger became a professor of 
philosophy at the University of Aix-Marseille and was interested in seeking the 
basic structures of mystical thought, with study on the thought of Henri 
and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, both of whom were concerned with the basic 
energies which drive humanity forward. Berger was also interested in the role 
memory as that which holds the group together, writing that it is memory which 
allows us “to be able to hope together, to fear together, to love together, and 
to work together.”

In 1953, Gaston Berger was named director general of higher education in 
France with the task of renewal of the university system following the Second 
World War years.  Thus, when Maurice-Jean Berger, born in 1927, was to 
start on his own path, the name Berger was already well known in intellectual 
and administrative circles.  Maurice changed his name to Béjart, which 
sounds somewhat similar, but is the name of the wife of Molière. Molière 
the symbol of the combination of theatre-dance-music. Maurice Béjart was 
at the Opera de Paris and then with the well known choreographer Roland 
Petit.  Béjart’s talent was primarily as a choreographer, a creator of new 
forms blending dance-music-action. He was willing to take well-known music such 
as the Bolero of Maurice Ravel or The Rite of Spring and The Firebird of 
Stravinsky and develop new dance forms for them. However, he was also 
in working with composers of experimental music such as Pierre Schaeffer.

Béjart also continued his father’s interest in mystical thought, less to find 
the basic structures of mystic thought like his father but rather as an 
inspiration.  He developed a particular interest in the Sufi traditions of 
Persia and Central Asia.  The Sufis have often combined 
thought-music-motion as a way to higher enlightenment.  The teaching and 
movements of G.I. Gurdjieff are largely based on Central Asian Sufi techniques 
even if Gurdjieff did not stress their Islamic character. Although Gurdjieff 
died in October 1948, he was known as an inspiration for combining mystical 
thought, music and motion in the artistic milieu of Béjart.  The French 
composer of modern experimental music, Pierre Schaeffer, with whom Béjart 
closely, was a follow of Gurdjieff.  Schaeffer also worked closely with 
Pierre Henry for Symphonie pour un homme seul and La Messe pour le Temps 
Présent, for which Béjart programed the dance. Pierre Henry was interested in 
the Tibetan school of Buddhism, so much of Béjart’s milieu had spiritual 
interests turned toward Asia.

It was Béjart’s experience in Persia where he was called by the Shah of Iran 
to create dances for the Persepolis celebration in 1971 that really opened the 
door to Sufi thought, a path he continued to follow. Béjart also followed his 
father’s interest in education and created dance schools both in Bruxelles and 
later Lausanne.  While there is not a “Béjart style” that others follow 
closely, he stressed an openness to the cultures of the world and felt that 
dance could be an enrichment for all social classes.  He often attracted 
large audiences to his dance performances, and people from different milieus 
were moved by his dances. Béjart represents a conscious effort to break down 
walls between artistic forms by combining music, dance, and emotion and the 
walls between cultures. An inspiration for world citizens to follow.

Rene Wadlow is the president 


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