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Memorial Services for Jean-Claude

A memorial for Jean-Claude was held at Shantigar on Sunday, May 29, 2022. Family, friends, and neighbors gathered at the Cemetery in the Field to share memories, poems, dances, and songs. In 2023, a memorial celebrating Jean-Claude’s life in the theatre will be held at LaMama ETC, date to be announced.

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Photos by Veronique Bryant

A Glimpse of Jean-Claude


Here’s a video of Jean-Claude sharing a game from his book, Tea with Demons—Games of Transformation.

“Games of transformation are playful daily practices that flow like a constant brook over the stubborn stones of our old self-destructive patterns, thus slowly wearing them down and washing them away to reveal the stream bed of our basic good nature.”
In this game, Jean-Claude invites us to honor teachers, past and present, and shares photos of his own beloved teachers—“A photo is a focus point that makes it possible to integrate the teacher and to become the best part of that teachers.”

“Honoring a Teacher” (from the book Tea with Demons, Games of Transformation by Jean-Claude van Itallie).

Jean-Claude was a magnificent teacher whose wisdom and compassion touched so many. We recall his resonant voice full of questions and the large embrace of his laughter. Moving forward at Shantigar, we hope to build upon Jean-Claude’s indelible lessons and keep our gate open to positive transformations of every kind.

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