Letter to the Dutch government regarding the subsidy for NDT 

To whom this might concern, 
(and I think, that this should concern many..!)

It was in 1959 when the now famous "Nederlands Dans Theater"
was founded, it took only a few brave people, who had the
incredible "capital" of "ONE SINGLE GUILDER" to their disposal,
to start a brand new dance company..!

This company didn't only survive, but it fought, gained confidence
and it grew. And it enjoys great international reputation ever
since its birth, as well as the respect of the Dutch Government
and The Dutch Royal Court.

This Company has become a Model for many dance companies
around the world. It also serves as a breeding ground for
creativity from the very beginning of its existence until today.
Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato,
Ohad Naharin, Paul Lightfoot and very many others began their
career here...
I do understand that our country, The Netherlands, is currently 
in a very difficult economic situation and I know that there are 
choices to be made!

But short term solutions are never the best ones. Nobody should 
ever underestimate the power of the Arts. Arts and culture have 
the profound power to influence the way other nations appreciate 
and judge our country.

NDT has traveled to many countries, even to countries with 
controversial political systems. We did that on purpose: 
we understood, that when the politicians are "not able" to talk, 
at least the artists must keep the conversation alive.
We knew that the people of these deprived countries desperately 
needed it..! Surely I am not telling you any secrets, when I say,  
that any nation in the world is defined by its cultural heritage 
rather then by its military or economic achievements.
People from around the world flock to the Netherlands to see 
Rembrandt and Vermeer, to hear the Concertgebouw orchestra, 
or to see the Nederlands Dans Theater, but certainly not to 
commemorate the all important "Battle of Scheveningen" in 1653...

And the economists of today could learn much from the Founding 
fathers of NDT, who were able to conquer the world with their 
initial capital of HFL 1,-..! There is no doubt in my mind, 
that in these difficult times a great solidarity amongst all
artists of the Netherlands is necessary, but I also know, that 
the Art of Dance is the most endangered specie in our cultural 
I have seen many troubled economic situations like the one we 
face now - and every time - the decision to cut subsidies for 
the arts has backfired. It always revealed the shortsightedness 
of the people in power. People need trust and belief much more 
then money...
Where are the brave politicians of today, who stand up and fight 
for culture and for the arts..? Please do not repeat the mistakes 
of your predecessors. Invest in values which last...

             The Hague, May 6th, 2011
             Jiří Kylián - Former Artistic Director of 
             the Nederlands Dans Theater (1975 - 1999)