MENTION MAURICE Bejart and the ballet world expects something special. Steeped in controversy from the outset of his career, Bejart continues to surprise and provoke audiences 50 years on. The festival marks the first appearance of his dance company, Bejart Ballet Lausanne, in Hong Kong. A native of Marseilles, France, Bejart choreographed his first work at the age of 20. He soon became known for his unconventional, visually stimulating expressionistic works. He also earned a reputation for his work with dance and fashion stars Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gianni Versace. Bejart has staged performances in unusual venues such as the Acropolis in Greece and Russia's Kremlin Palace. In 1987, he founded Bejart Ballet Lausanne in Switzerland, and in 1992 opened the Rudra studio-school of dance. One of his more recent works, Ballet for Life, was set to the music of popular rock band Queen, and was inspired by the lives of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury and Bejart's former principal dancer Jorge Dunn, who both died of Aids. As part of Bejart's 50th anniversary world tour, the troupe will perform four ballets to mark different periods of Bejart's career. The works include Ravel's Bolero, featuring a solo dancer with an entourage of male onlookers; Stravinsky's Firebird; Seven Greek Dances, a parody of traditional dance; and Bejart's most recent creation, Le Voyage.