Dear Jan,
I think of you often these day as I keep hearing of these allegations being made. It’s hard for me to process the information as I have never experienced any of these while I was working with you.
More so … I don’t think I have ever put it down on paper how much the experience of sharing “Dà Un’Altra Faccia del Tempo” has shaped my life.
As you know, I came to you at 21 years old, direct from an Eastern European classical ballet background and my work experience was solely that of “be here, shut up, learn your steps and don’t make a noise.” Previously, I went through nine years of ballet training. Not unlike that of circus animals. Strict rigorous and with daily fear of being thrown out… experiences that can only be called torture. Psychological as well and physical… truly abusive, ego driven monsters that thrived on breaking people down. Then … with You …I’ve entered into an environment where being alert, being alive and being strong enough to stand up for ourselves, was the way to move forward and create. I never felt safer and been in a more supportive environment, where I finally could shed my insecurities and fears of performing … and explore, experience a creative process unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It was a truly mind blowing experience and brought me great fulfilment and happiness. Far beyond the duration of the work and it’s subsequent tours. I still try to recreate the environment in my teaching practices and quote and reiterate the value of that time.
At the very beginning of the process I may have been still consumed with my own young worries and fears but … after having entered into the process of creation with you, I felt myself come alive and I could never look back. I could never again work with certain type of a choreographer/ artist, who did not offer the same level of creative environment that you’ve brought to me/us. The freedom to try out scenes that I would never have thought to enter into, came to me as naturally as breathing and walking. I just felt safe and free and open and supported in all of the choices I’ve made. Even the bad ones… I’ve never for a second felt you as an abusive presence. Not even uncomfortable … Only pushed towards freedom and experimenting and uncovering my authentic self. You have helped me more than you know and I am deeply grateful for that.
Also … I have never seen you being abusive towards any of my colleagues. I have seen you pushing them to their own boundaries and to make them stand up for themselves, but I never ever thought that to be abusive. More like a dare or a guidance to say… “look … you can go beyond your own fears and expectations.” I also never felt that anyone was forcefully kept along for that journey. Any of us that might have felt less then comfortable, or would have wanted to move on, could have …
As I understand you’re now accused of misconduct behind closed doors… I also don’t believe those doors were locked … and anyone could not have left if they felt deeply uncomfortable. I did not hear you’ve forcefully withheld someone… so being “Uncomfortable” is one thing… If someone is uncomfortable … In my mind, they could have still stood up for you, however scary that might have been .. but … Anyhow … None of this is for me to judge, because I have never seen you in that light .. and never seen that in our working environment…
I only have seen you as a man invested and deeply interested in people. In their honesty, genuine presence, artistry, generosity of spirit and you were there to support them/us, to becoming ourselves…
I got a lot of fulfilment from our time together. I wanted to reach out send you my warmest and kindest thoughts and I hope you’ll get through this period of hardships and that you’ll not loose your confidence in yourself.
Stay the course and stay firm in your heart. You are not a monster… You have also a lot of us to stand up for you, we are here… your warriors of beauty.
Sending you a massive hug and I hope you’re doing ok !!!
With much love, Tamas