About life trees and art 

My name is Jiří Kylián. I am of Czech origin and I am a 
choreographer. Together with my wife Sabine we have moved 
to Den Haag in September 1975, and we live here ever since. 
In the years that followed I became the artistic director of the 
Nederlands Dans Theater and Sabine a dancer. I remained in 
this position for 24 years, Sabine for 31. In 2017 I became an 
"Honorary Citizen" of The Hague. 

1978 we moved to the Statenkwartier and since then we biked 
daily to our work at NDT through the Scheveningseweg. In 1987 
we have built our own theatre. It was designed by Rem Koolhaas. 
This building was not only the very first piece of architecture 
Rem ever built, but it was the first theatre especially created 
for dance in the world. Koolhaas is now one of the foremost 
architects in the world. This very unique theatre was demolished 
in 2016. It was only 29 years in existence. It was destroyed 
because of ignorance, political power plays and because the 
lack of understanding of cultural history in general.

My feelings about cutting down of the trees on the Scheveningse-
weg are exactly the same..! In all these years Sabine and myself 
biked down this magnificent road at least 16.000 times. It was 
always a therapeutic journey. These trees helped us concentrate 
on the challenges in our work, and to unwind on our way back. 

Seeing what happened to them left me shocked an very, very angry. 
I couldn't believe the lack of respect for nature, for our environment, 
and for all the people, who protested against this terrible decision 
for years.

The connection between The Hague and Scheveningen was designed 
by Constantijn Huygens in 1653. He designed a road with four rows 
of trees on either side. His idea was now destroyed by ignorance 
and lack of imagination. I must admit that I often do not understand 
the "throwaway culture" of some Dutch politicians. I understand 
that we need space for new ideas, but I never understood the idiocy 
of throwing away things which are useful, beautiful and beneficial 
for all of us. I understand that new space must be created for 
innovation, but not for ignorance, indolence and irresponsible actions. 
We live in the 21st century and I could imagine, that there are many 
brilliant young brains in this country, eager to come up with much 
better and much more creative solutions, than the simple and 
primitive destruction of hundreds of trees. 

Now there are more trees on the "death row" on the Scheveningseweg. 
Their disappearance would be unbearable to me - But maybe there 
are still some responsible politicians taking care of the essential 
qualities of our beautiful city..!

Jiri Kylian 
August 2018