Protest in festival against Belgian theater director accused of sexual harassment
Show by Jan Fabre goes ahead in Girona's Temporada Alta despite call for boycott
'The show must go on' is a famous phrase in show business and that is what happened this weekend in the town of Salt, next to the city of Girona, when a show in the Temporada Alta performing arts festival went ahead despite protesters calling for a boycott.
'Generosity of Dorcas' by Belgian director Jan Fabre was performed in Salt's municipal theater before an audience of some 250 people, despite around 40 people returning their tickets and the presence of a small group of protesters outside.
The reason for the boycott and the protest were accusations of sexual harassment a few weeks ago against Fabre from a score of people in the Troubleyn theater company, who accuse the director of acting in a "sexist and inappropriate" manner.
A group of activists called for his show in Salt to be withdrawn from the festival. Yet, the organizers decided that as there are no formal charges against Fabre that the show would go ahead, although they did offer to return the money of anyone who wanted it.
Although a score of protestors informed people of the accusations of "sexual intimidation" against Fabre as they entered the theater to see the show, the auditorium was just about full and the show went off.
Dancer Matteo Sedda, who performed to the music of Dag Taedelman for almost an hour, drew huge applause from the audience but was reluctant to comment on the controversy, saying: "Not everything is black and white. There is also a lot of grey."
Sedda, who has worked with Fabre on a number of occasions, had already released a statement on Friday, before the show, calling for "respect" for Fabre. The dancer insisted that he has "never" thought of the director as "someone who is intimidating, sexist or racist."