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Prima Nazionale

Auditorium Parco della Musica "Ennio Morricone" / Sala Petrassi
September 28th - 29th 2022
dance - dance

Jan Martens - Grip / Dance On Ensemble

Any Attempt Will End In Crushed Bodies And Shattered Bones

The return of Jan Martens to the Romaeuropa Festival is a hymn to rebellion, civil disobedience, resistance and the march towards progress. The Flemish choreographer- internationally recognized as one of the protagonists of contemporary dance- brings to the stage a miniature society, a heterogeneous group of professional and non-professional performers, between 16 and 69 years of age. Each of them seeks to express their own voice within the dance, to carve an adequate language in order to claim their place on stage, without stealing it from others. Referring to a brutal statement by Chinese President Xi Jinping (“Every attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones”) and merging unique forms of protest music composed in different eras (from Henryk Górecki to Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln to Kate Tempest), Martens absorbs the violent language that characterizes communication today in his choreography, as well as the extreme polarization of our existence. In the process, he invites the performers to free themselves from all dogma, to weave horizontal relationships, to be themselves, in art as in life. Aesthetically rigorous, minimal, geometric, and yet incurably romantic, the choreographer continues his exploration of the human soul by directing his gaze directly to the parameters of the crowd.


Jan Martens (°1984, Belgium) studied at the Fontys Dansacademie in Tilburg and completed the Dance programme at Artesis Royal Conservatory in Antwerp in 2006.  The work of Martens is nurtured by the belief that each body can communicate, and has actually something to say. With every new work he tries to redraw the relation between public and performer. His debut I CAN RIDE A HORSE WHILST JUGGLING SO MARRY ME in 2010 was quickly followed by multiple solos, duets and group pieces, a.o. THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER (2014 – selection Het TheaterFestival), ODE TO THE ATTEMPT (2014), THE COMMON PEOPLE (2016) and RULE OF THREE (2017). In the 18/19 season, Jan created PASSING THE BECHDEL TEST (2018), a coproduction with fABULEUS as well as the solo lostmovements, in which he plunges into the universe of choreographer and friend Marc Vanrunxt (Kunst/Werk). In 2020, Jan directs his attention for the first time to the big stage with any attempt will end in crushed bodies and  shattered bones, a production with and for seventeen dancers. Premiere on July 18, 2021 at Festival d’Avignon. July 12, 2021 ELISABETH GETS HER WAY premieres, a solo by and with Martens inspired by the Polish harpsichordist Elisabeth Chojnacka.  Martens is associated artist at DE SINGEL (Antwerp, BE). The choreographic platform GRIP – founded by Jan Martens & business manager Klaartje Oerlemans – is supported by the Flemish Government. 


Choreography: Jan Martens
Dance: Ty Boomershine, Truus Bronkhorst, Jim Buskens, Zoë Chungong, Piet Defrancq, Naomi Gibson, Kimmy Ligtvoet, Cherish Menzo, Steven Michel, Gesine Moog, Dan Mussett, Wolf Overmeire, Tim Persent, Courtney May Robertson, Laura Vanborm, Loeka Willems and – alternating – Pierre Bastin, Georgia Boddez, Zora Westbroek, Lia Witjes-Poole [on tour], Abigail Aleksander, Maisie Woodford, Simon Lelievre, Solal Mariotte [understudies] e Baptiste Cazaux [original cast member]
Artistic assistance: Anne-Lise Brevers
Lighting design: Jan Fedinger
Lighting design assistance: Vito Walter
Costumes: Cédric Charlier
Assistenza alla progettazione dei costumi: Alexandra Sebbag e Thibault Kuhn
Outside eye: Marc Vanrunxt, Renée Copraij, Rudi Meulemans e Siska Baeck
Text: estratto da SPRING by Ali Smith. Copyright © 2019, Ali Smith, used by permission of The Wylie Agency (UK) Limited
Music: “Concerto pour Clavecin et Cordes Op 40” Réf Im: 108884 Musique de Henryk Mikolaj Górecki © PWM Editions représenté par Alphonse Leduc Editions Musicales ;
“People’s Faces” scritto da Kae Tempest e Dan Carey © Published and Administered by Domino Publishing Company Limited (50%) and MANATA LTD Administrated by Warner/Chappell Music Belgium N.V. (50%) ;
“Triptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace” scritto da Maxwell Roach © Published by Milma Publishing Company Administered by Kobalt Music Publishing Limited.
Technical Direction: Michel Spang
Technicians: Michel Spang e Valentijn Weyn o Bart Van Hoydonck/Nele Verreyken
Production: Sylvie Svanberg
Production assistant: Marie Luyten (internship) e Saskia Vervoort
Direzione aziendale: Klaartje Oerlemans
Supporto commerciale: Ruud Van Moorleghem, precedentemente: Lotte De Mont
Communications: Sam Loncke
Photo: Phile Deprez
Graphic Design: Luis Xertu
Trailer and teaser: Paul Sixta, Stanislav Dobak en Jan Fedinger


Production Credits

Production: GRIP
In collaboration with: Dance On Ensemble
International distribution: A Propic / Line Rousseau and Marion Gauvent
Co-production: DE SINGEL (Antwerp, BE), Theater Freiburg (DE), Sadler’s Wells (London, UK), Julidans (Amsterdam, NL), Festival d’Avignon (FR), Le Gymnase CDCN Roubaix Hauts-de-France (FR), Norrlandsoperan (Umeå, SE), La Bâtie – Festival de Genève & l’ADC – Association pour la Danse Contemporaine Genève (CH), tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf, DE), Le Parvis Scène Nationale Tarbes-Pyrénéés (Tarbes, FR), La Danse en grande forme (Cndc – Angers, Malandain Ballet Biarritz, La Manufacture – CDCN Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux – La Rochelle, CCN de Caen en Normandie, L’échangeur – CDCN Hauts-de-France, CCN de Nantes, CCN d’Orléans, Atelier de Paris / CDCN, Collectif Fair-e / CCN de Rennes et de Bretagne, Le Gymnase | CDCN Roubaix | Hauts-de-France, POLE-SUD CDCN / Strasbourg and La Place de La Danse – CDCN Toulouse Occitanie) and Perpodium
With the support of: De Grote Post (Ostend, BE), Charleroi Danse (BE), CCNO – Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans in collab. with la Scène nationale d’Orléans (FR) and December Dance (Concertgebouw and CC Brugge)
With the financial support of: the Flemish Government, the city of Antwerp, Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government and Cronos Invest
Thanks to: Mr. Jean Chabert (STANLEY/STELLA), Wannes Labath, Nadine Scheuer and de! Kunsthumaniora