Za Tanec Praha

We, the undersigned, 

express deep concern regarding the recent statement made by Yvona Kreuzmannová, founder and director of Tanec Praha, Ponce and Krenovka Studio, concerning the significant systemic changes underway at the PONEC theatre. We believe these cardinal changes have the potential to seriously disrupt the operation of Ponec Theatre, having repercussions and negative consequences throughout the broader dance field and the established artistic community.

A primary concern and the central issue at hand is the removal of the position of Artistic Director at Ponec Theatre, set to take effect on November 30, 2023, to be replaced by an advisory board. The official notification of these changes was communicated via email arbitrarily and/or selectively to only certain artists and partners of PONEC Theatre on 11/24/2023. Unfortunately, no specifics regarding the structure, members of the advisory board, operating principles, or the names of professionals involved were provided. Additionally, we have learned, through various cultural channels, about ongoing open calls and selection procedures for key positions, such as technical and project managers, which adds to our apprehension, considering the scarcity of qualified individuals for these roles in the current professional landscape.

Director Yvona Kreuzmannová has built Tanec Praha on the ethos of an open, democratically acting society supporting the development of contemporary dance in the Czech Republic. Yet, recent actions raise numerous questions. The situation appears threatening and destabilising for Tanec Praha, its projects, and partner organisations. Despite director’s mentions of team overload, reconstruction for the future, and past communication challenges, the measures taken appear neither conceptual nor coordinated. Team members claim not to be overloaded and resign in significant numbers, and communication issues persist, worsening more fundamentally than before.

At this juncture, the professional dance community finds itself in a perplexing situation. On the surface, it seems that the core values of the organisation are being suppressed, leading to arbitrary power, lack of transparency, and inadequate communication with partners, artists, and supporters of contemporary dance. We seek answers demanding clarity as to why these changes are happening and a clear clearconcrete vision for the future direction of this pivotal organisation for contemporary dance in the Czech Republic.

We extend an invitation to our fellow colleagues in the field—artists, producers, and individuals in artistic and technical professions—and urge them to join us in endorsing this manifesto. All those mentioned contribute their values and human credibility to Ponec Theatre, Tanec Praha, and the field of contemporary dance. We refuse to be manipulated and strive to unite our inner power against external forces. 

In this manifesto, we call for:

1. Public presentation of the Tanec Praha Board of Directors: detailing its functioning and changes approved which impact the entire organization and the dance sector. 

2. Clear disclosure of the new artistic leadership of Ponec Theatre: Provide insights into its operation and reveal the names of the members of the new advisory board.

3. Establishment of a Supervisory Board for Tanec Praha: Drawn from the artistic and professional community to enhance transparency and openness.

4. A request for Yvona Kreuzmannová to prepare Tanec Praha for the future, within a reasonable timeframe, even without assuming her presence ensuring a smooth transition. With responsibility for the future of the entire industry it is important to pass on trust.

The issues addressed in this manifesto are not novel; manipulation and power dynamics are unfortunately commonplace. However, the present time affords us a more conducive climate to speak out and connect with a pressing need. This manifesto represents our responsibility to our field and the community formed around dance, as we consider ourselves an integral part of it.

We respectfully call upon Director Yvona Kreuzmanová to convene a meeting with the Tanec Praha Board of Directors by December 14. At this meeting, we expect a presentation of the approved changes, declassification of the names on the advisory board, and discussions on items #3 and #4—pertaining to the formation of the Supervisory Board and the future of Tanec Praha and Ponec Theatre.

Thank you for considering this crucial cause. If you share our concerns and wish to support our endeavour, kindly add your signature below.

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