This press release is in response to a meeting last Thursday in Montreal between Robert Lepage, Ariane Mnouchkine and the signatories of the open letter published on July 14 2018 regarding the show Kanata.
The participants of the meeting were very open and we felt that many of our exchanges were productive. Nevertheless, the infinitely complex and often aggressive controversy surrounding the show has in the meantime reached the North American co-producers that were interested in it, and certain ones have now announced their withdrawal. Considering what we recently went through, we certainly understand their concerns. But without their financial support, we are unable to finish creating Kanata with Théâtre du Soleil. Therefore, we are putting an end to the project.
Beyond this troubling situation, sooner or later we will need to try to understand—calmly and together—what cultural appropriation and the right to free artistic expression fundamentally are. With this in mind, we reiterate what we said to those we met on July 19: the stages of Le Diamant will be wide open to them, and we hope they will come. In the same spirit, and as previously agreed, we will be meeting this fall with members of the group opposed to SLĀV.
We are grateful to Théâtre du Soleil and Ariane Mnouchkine for extending their warm offer to collaborate four years ago. Kanata will not be the fruit of that, but we hope that here, one day, it will lead to more serene artistic and intercultural encounters.
Note to media outlets: Ex Machina and Robert Lepage will not be providing any further comments on the cancellation of the show.
July 27, 2018