I decided to post this in response to the question of why am I still performing in the company.
As a performer for Jan Fabre at Troubleyn for over 20 years I too was taken a back when I read the open letter with its accusations against Jan Fabre. I have always felt blessed to be an artist that works in a place where my ideas and thoughts are respected as much as the directors and my other collegues. A true collaborative atmosphere, where with Jan as our guide, pushes our limits of what we personally can do, as well as exploring new ideas of how to get thoughts and concepts onto stage in a new and often radical way. This kind of highly creative atmosphere of course can create tension and fear but that is always softened having the trust and respect from our director. I would never say that Jans way of rehearsing is manipulative, even if he chooses not necessarily the most appropriate English word. The rehearsals can be difficult and hard emotionally and physically but that is not unique in making theater. No great art work is created in a state of pure ease.
Conflict is not necessarily bad.
I also have never heard or seen ways of psychologically bullying to get people to do something they don’t want to do. Maybe a bad joke but never bullying. Never trying to make you less than your best self. If anything Jan helps you to see you are even stronger and better than you think. More often than not the ideas and scenes shown in a performance come from the performers imaginations. And no one is made to be part of a scene unwillingly. I have never seen or heard of people being reprimanded for for not wanting to be part of a sensitive scene.
And lastly: Jan created a solo for me a few years ago . An homage to how I live my life. To read a headline in a newspaper ‘No Sex No Solo’, in reaction to this open letter was personally hurtful. To make the suggestion that I had to sleep with Jan for him to create is not only untrue but ridiculous.
I will continue to work, with joy, at Troubleyn, with Jan Fabre because it is a place that bravely grows and develops because it has always been for me, a place of constant reflection and exploring. As Jan most often says at the end of a day of work, “thank you all for what you taught me today.” That is the Troubleyn I know not the one reflected in the open letter.