Maurice Béjart and Rita Poelvoorde in the movie Je t'aime, tu danses (1977)

"I met the master:
- Why do you wish to do yoga?
(Naturally a young student interpreter allowed us to have this dialog).
- I think it can help me build my life and make me go forward in my work.
- What is your work?
- I am a dancer.
- Dance is a gift from the gods, Shiva Nataraja is the lord of dance, it is a difficult art. What is your dance?
 I mumbled a few obscure explanations. Actually I did not know what my dance was!
- I suppose, he said, that you have some type of daily practice, some exercises.
- Yes, of course.
 I did not know how to explain them. He said:
- Show me!
I noticed a wooden railing surrounding the covered terrace whose floor we were sitting on.
- You see, we do the barre every day.
- Well, go on!
 I took a deep breath, filled with more fright than for the premiere of a show, and placed myself in front of him, holding on to the railing. The floor was - a rare thing in India - made of natural wood, polished but not slippery, which allowed me to work simply and cleanly.
 After forty minutes, neither his body nor his gaze had changed. I finally said, covered in sweat:
- That's it, this is what we call THE BARRE.

A long silence followed. Then:

- So why do you want to do yoga? If your mind is free and your body upright but without tension, if you let the exercise guide you and not the opposite, if you wish for nothing more than the exercise for the beauty and the truth of the exercise, you have your yoga. Do not look any further! Do what you call "the barre" for the beauty of the barre without thinking about improving, for we improve only through abandonning the idea of improving.

From that day, the barre, for me, wasn't linked to a technique, to a style, to a particular form of dance. It is a yoga which builds my body and my mind and opens me to the possibility of trying to understand all other forms of dance, because dance is ONE."

Maurice Béjart
Lettres à un jeune danseur [Letters to a young dancer]

note: the barre is the handrail which dancers use as a help during ballet warm-up exercises. By extension, the sequence of exercises itself is called "the barre".

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