Overgrown Path

To write about Antony Tudor is probably the most difficult 
thing a choreographer can be asked to do. But I try. 
To me Tudor was a mystery. 
- At the time when I have met him for the first time I had 
only a very limited knowledge of his work. Only his 
uncompromising view of dance, choreography and its psychology 
was known to me. The more surprising was the fact, that after 
NDT's first appearance at the "City Centre" in New York, 
Tudor was not only present, but he insisted to see me. 
I was warned, that Mr. Tudor was a very sarcastic critic of 
dance and choreography and that the experience of meeting him 
after a show could have devastating aftershocks and could 
result in permanent damage. But in my case, the contrary 
was true. I felt very embraced, understood and sheltered by him. 
His acceptance and appreciation of my work was very 
heartwarming and reassuring. And strange as it might sound, 
he said to me, that he felt I was his "Artistic grandson".
In the cafeteria of the Hotel Empire we drank orange juice 
and talked about art... I couldn't help noticing, that he had 
great love for Czech music, a fact which had obviously become 
a point of common interest. And he noticed that my nose had 
the same curve towards the right, as well as his own. Years have 
passed and many things have happened. In 1980 I have made 
"Overgrown Path". It is a work, which is deeply rooted in 
the psyche of the country in which I was born. Janáček's fate 
(His daughter Olga was dying when he wrote this work, and he 
was at that time still an unappreciated composer), meant a deep 
psychological dilemma for him. 
Taking into consideration all the psychological implications 
surrounding the life and the work of Janáček and the very subject 
of his music, I had decided to dedicate the piece to Tudor. 
I know that there are scores of dancers which he frustrated and 
scores which he inspired. But he did all that for the love of dance, 
the most dionytic, vital, untameable and the most unexplored art of 
our "Artistic Family". Many years back Martine van Hammel and 
Kevin Mackenzie have danced a work of mine entitled "Torso". 
Tudor wrote a handwritten letter to me after seeing the performance. 
The words were: "I was in awe". Well, I was in awe reading 
his words. And I appreciate this so very deeply - not only for 
myself, but for the fact that someone is able to show his esteem 
for something which he understands more than anyone else...
All of this might seem like an expression of complacency. 
Well I agree, that it might be calcified as such, but it is not 
as simple as that. I find, that a true appreciation of a colleague, 
who you respect is worth more then any other praise you might 
receive in your life! I think I understand Tudor very well, 
even though I didn't know him or his work profoundly. On one hand 
his psychological ballets explore our extreme emotionality, on the 
other hand he has decided to embrace the zen buddhistic philosophy 
denying all that emotionality, which he promoted with such vigour 
in his work. All his critics or fans must rejoice by saying: 
Remarkable, unusually controversial and very inspiring... He should 
be always remembered and celebrated. Certainly, he will always be 
remembered and appreciated by me.

          Jiří Kylián - Den Haag  September 14th 2008