Tuesday, July 22, 2003

d'Arcier throws sponge

Found BFD's statement (click "A conclusion of the Festival 2003") on the Avignon Festival site. He says in part:

We have demonstrated our solidarity in the early days, since there had been negotiations even before the draft agreement was edited, and the festival had already written an open letter (in mid-June), which had been signed by more than 2500 people. Then, when we became acquainted with the content of the draft agreement, I personally intervened several times though the press or by pressurizing the Minister of Arts whom I had met on June the 30th, and the counsellors of the Prime Minister and of the President of the Republic. At that time, we even envisaged and brandished a menace of cancellation, but this had no effect; Everything happened so fast...

For the moment I don’t want to see the audiences shaken about, and I would not have liked to be the witness of a visible display of international divisions, especially in the face of the employers’ and the State over in a vital professional issue.

As I often said, I want to keep my freedom, I don’t want to be used, either by the Trade-unions or by the companies that I invited. Finally, I refuse the very idea of any violence, or the intervention of the police, either between the companies, or with the public.

This is the recognition I can make: a kind of landscape after a war, quite devastated I must say. But I don’t want to charge nor to level bitter accusations against anybody.

I think it is necessary for all of us to begin to make a historical analysis.

What is binding us now is a feeling of sadness; sadness for the public, for all the wonderful performances that we cannot see, and of course, for all the artists and employees.

And for those who love translatorese: this from Yahoo's French news service, via Google's translation service. I think d'Arcier's "blow of hand" for the "intermittents" with whom he will "line up" is his statement of support for the striking performers, but it is er hem a little ambiguous.

PARIS (AP) - Bernard Faivre d' Arcier throws sponge. In a maintenance in the "World" gone back to Friday, it announces the cancellation of the edition 2003 of the festival of Avignon which it directed for the last time.

"One cannot from day to day organize a festival under the pressure of a renewable strike", underlines Bernard Faivre d' Arcier by referring to the movement of intermittent spectacle which protests against the reform of their unemployment insurance scheme.

"I do not make a point of seeing divisions of the artists spread out under the glance of employers and of the State", the director of the international festival of the alive spectacle created in 1947 adds.

"After three days, I note that the festival cannot any more take place normally. Seventeen representations were already cancelled. One would need an exceptional technical reinforcement to ensure those which are envisaged in the days to come ", explains it.

"I always said that the festival could not be held if three conditions were not met: that the relation with the public is not depreciated, that the spectacles are presented under the conditions desired by the artistic teams which conceived them and which there are not threatening violence safety ", it continues while stating to refuse "to present a program cut down by a third of its artists".

Bernard Faivre d' Arcier, who decided to cancel the edition 2003 of Avignon following the example his counterpart of the festival of lyric art of Aix-en-Provence, thus expresses his "sadness" because it was its "last festival".

"I found that it was a beautiful edition to celebrate my departure", he says. "I am very anxious for Avignon and the other festivals, because of the financial problems. But if it is the one time end, it is not the end of the festival ", judges Bernard Faivre d' Arcier. "I would have liked That to make a festival militant if I had been able to present the spectacles. In three weeks, I will not be a any more director and I will line up readily side of intermittent to give them a blow of hand ". AP

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