August 3, 2021

Flemish choreographer and visual artist Jan Fabre will be tried for sexual harassment

For some, it is, all things considered, a Harvey Weinstein case, Belgian version: after three years of investigation, the Antwerp justice has decided to send the famous choreographer and theatrical man Jan Fabre to justice. The prosecution relied on twelve testimonies to formulate accusations of violence, harassment and sexual assault against the director of the company Troubleyn.

The first accusations date back to 1998 and were made by an Icelandic dancer

A long investigation, complicated by the pandemic and the fact that many witnesses now live abroad, was conducted by the labor auditor. The prosecutor finally decided, on June 28, to bring the artist to the Antwerp Criminal Court, where a first hearing is scheduled for September 21.

The first accusations against Fabre date back to 1998 and were made by an Icelandic dancer. In 2018, the creator affirmed, in an interview with the Dutch-speaking public channel VRT, about the #metoo phenomenon, that no problem had ever arisen in his company. In the fall of the same year, twenty former members and trainees of the troop, eighteen women and two men, nevertheless published a letter on Facebook containing accusations of harassment, humiliation and inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature. The signatories also mentioned erotic photo sessions that the artist organized in his studio by summoning members of his troop.

“An orchestrated campaign”

This letter calling for solidarity would generate other revelations, in particular about a famous television producer, and free the voice of Flemish artists. A movement called Engagement Arts was born to denounce the sexism in force, according to its initiators, in the cultural sector. For his part, Jan Fabre firmly denied any will “To intimidate or hurt, psychologically or sexually”. His lawyer denounced “An orchestrated campaign”. The establishment, within the company Troubleyn, of a code of ethics, after the intervention of an independent consultant, should however allow the company to keep its public subsidy of nearly 1 million euros.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Belgian choreographer Jan Fabre accused of sexual harassment

Justice was not satisfied with this measure and therefore calls into question one of the most famous Belgian artists, famous among insiders for these avant-garde and innovative shows as well as among the general public. Jan Fabre has acquired another form of notoriety in particular by decorating the ceiling of the austere royal palace in Brussels with multicolored scarabs or by formerly trying to beat, in a suit and tie and a cigarette in his mouth, the world record of the hour. by bike. What translate his taste for humor and derision.

You have 39.77% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.