Jan Fabre dances with #MeToo

This is information that was not given to spectators, because the theaters did not think it appropriate to add these to their communication documents. On Wednesday evening, before the Théâtre de la Bastille in Paris, some members of the militant collective La Permanence (in support of the Belgian Armaments Association) thought that it was best to communicate by means of leaflets, to conclude their text with a "Now that you have been informed, how do you look at this solo?"

"Gazelle". The piece that the famous Flemish choreographer and visual artist Jan Fabre currently presents in the Parisian theater, after touring in Douai in December, has changed during the production of the title. Today the title The generosity of Dorcas, the solo originally circulated under a different name, The generosity of Tabitha. And this, not only because Tabitha and Dorcas refer to the same character in Biblical history, and the second denomination sounded better in the ears of Jan Fabre (Dorcas is the Greek translation of Tabitha, which means "Gazelle" and to identify one of the first disciples of Christ).

To read too The criticism The generosity of Dorcas

It is also that Tabitha is the first name of a real person, the first artist of the solo, who was eventually replaced by another dancer (Matteo Sedda) after he resigned last April, "Without more details" – explains Troubleyn – an experience with # MeToo. Tabitha Cholet is one of the names that appeared in September for an open letter in which Jan Fabre was accused of moral harassment, sexual blackmail and other misuses of power.

To balance. No lawsuit has been filed, but after the publication of the letter in the Belgian assessment Rekto: Verso, signed by some twenty former employees of the artist, two studies were opened. One, by the Ministry of Culture and Media, has already been made and imposes concrete measures on the company, which also works with an independent body to analyze the risks. The other research, carried out by the Labor Inspectorate, is still under way.

In anticipation of the epilogue, a thorny question arises for the theaters that are already busy with Troubleyn for the current season. Not to preserve or cancel representations, deferment or deprogramming has never been considered by those who, like the director of the Theater of the Bastille, Jean-Marie Hordé, argue "This elusive democratic principle called the presumption of innocence" and "Do not intend to take the place of the court".

The game of balancing is more about morality and the arsenal of information to give the public or not. How far and how should theaters place the work in its context of production – and should they do it alone? Interrupted by e-mail by members of the collective Permanence on a communication that is considered too minimal, the Theater de la Bastille contends by his refusal to broadcast the open letter to the public: "If I were to pass it on, I would take part in this accusation," said Jean-Marie Hordé, who preferred to add a general text on the impact of the Weinstein case "A loss of 50% spectators in relation to a normal reproduction of Fabre ".

The director also participates in the debate on the subject that the Permanence organized on 31 January in the General in Paris. The collective hopes the presence of different personalities of the cultural environment, including the direction of the Villette which will receive another piece of Fabre in March, Belgian rules / Belgian rules. La Villette, who for the time being does not post any information about the research on his site and firmly sticks to his communication policy: "It is not our job to communicate unintentionally in the absence of proof other than a petition and without judicial investigation, let us know the programmer Frédéric Mazelly. We present a work, we do not have to communicate about these kinds of considerations. "


Eve Beauvallet