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Letters to Protest the Decisions of the Minister of Culture in Belgium

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The Company is showing their support of Kathryn Bennetts and their frustration towards the governments decisions by writing letters addressed to Joke Schauvliege ( the Minister of Culture). They are asking for your support to take the time to write your own letter to prove to the Minister the impact on the global dance community.

The email address is kabinet.schauvliege@vlaanderen.be

Please place in the cc of the email kathrynbennetts@balletvlaanderen.be

Important things to be mentioned in the email

1) The Company does not want an Intendant who will do the programming for the ballet

2) The budget should be raised

3) The actual proposition from the Minister of Culture will mean the end of the Royal Ballet of Flanders

Please forward this to as many of your colleagues, friends and family to get them also to write letters. The more emails that the Minister receives the more chance the company has of fighting back.

Thanks so much for any letters you send. My daughter and her colleagues feel so strongly about Kathryn Bennetts and the company that they are willing to speak out as Kathryn did. Traditionally dancers have not been known to be vocal but in this case they are willing to come forward publicly to fight for the continued survival of the company as it exists today.

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My letter:

Dear Ms. Schauvliege:

As the dance writer for the New York Post, I am writing to express my support for the Royal Ballet of Flanders.

In the short years since Kathryn Bennetts assumed the leadership of the KBVV, she has raised the international profile of the company drastically to become a valuable cultural import. The company, representing Flanders as a region of culture both old and modern, has received notice and strong reviews in New York and other major international cities.

Ms. Bennetts is directly responsible for the success of the KBVV. Because of her relationship to William Forsythe, she has access to his works that few other company directors have. These productions have put Flanders on the map in New York City, London and around the world.

I have traveled to Flanders twice specifically to see the company dance. KBVV is not just a cultural import; it is a tourist attraction. It brings in not just prestige, but tourism revenue.

The company has been doing this on a shoestring – it is an estimable cultural product and need your support, and its independence. Please reconsider your rash decisions regarding the company’s autonomy and future; give the company and Ms. Bennetts the budget and autonomy they need to continue their work. It is an excellent cultural and touristic investment and money wisely spent.

Very truly yours,

Leigh Witchel

Dance Writer, New York Post.

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