Published on 27.06.2024, 14:57

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, the management and the board of directors of Rosas are convinced that artistic work must be created in a safe and respectful environment. We take this issue very seriously within the dance company.

It is true that in the past, concerns about well-being have been reported to the management, and via the management also to the board. As a result, solutions were sought in direct dialogue with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker herself. We recognise that we are coming out of a particularly challenging period, during which our ways of working were fundamentally tested. We understand that this has not always been easy, and that people have felt hurt or insufficiently respected.

In all sectors of society, including the dance world, attention to well-being at work has rightly increased. Rosas, too, has taken steps in this regard. To this end, we called on external know-how to support awareness of and policies on well-being at work. We developed concrete actions with professional guidance, such as setting up structured consultation moments with the dancers and the team, communication training on giving and receiving feedback, the recruitment of an external person of trust, the installation of a well-being working group, coaching of the management by an external business psychologist.

In the course of this process, unresolved issues also came up. It prompted the organisation and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker to learning reflections so that well-being in the workplace is a top priority for everyone: an open and respectful form of collaboration is essential. These actions have yielded results, but thorough attention to well-being and its implementation will continue to be monitored.

As a result of the unexpectedly large financial deficit in 2022, the board has introduced a new management structure. It was tasked with drafting a transformation plan in consultation with the board in order to better respond to the thoroughly changed performing arts landscape after the covid crisis and to develop accurate financial, personnel and welfare policies. From the outset, Rosas entered into direct consultation with the Flemish subsidising government on this matter.

Rosas' approach is threefold: to guarantee the continuity of high-quality artistic work after 40 years of working in this field, to carry out thorough restructuring and to further develop a caring financial, personnel and welfare policy. With regard to the HR and well-being policies, Rosas is assisted by external experts and company psychologists.

It goes without saying that the implementation of the transformation plan, which has involved numerous staff changes and forced artistic projects to be put on hold, has sometimes caused tensions. Given Rosas' fame and exemplary role, it is not unusual that this also has external reverberations. We now wish to continue this process in all serenity, with time and rest for recovery and in open communication with all concerned. We are convinced that permanent care for a safe working environment will strengthen the artistic project, the organisation, the dancers and all employees in the future.

We deliberately choose not to comment on specific situations through the public media. We do this not because we want to deny or minimise matters from the past, but out of respect for all (former) employees involved in these situations at the time. Healing conversations, which we are always willing to have, must take place in a safe and confidential environment where there is room for nuance and empathy.