Any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones

informació obra


Aquesta és la primera creació de Jan Martens per a gran escenari que va estrenar al Festival d’Avinyó aquest juliol. Compta amb disset intèrprets de personalitats úniques que abasten diverses generacions, sent els més joves de 16 anys i els més grans de 69, amb diferències significatives entre ells pel que fa a la trajectòria i la formació tècnica, però on cadascú troba el seu lloc dins la peça. La seva actuació es recolza en una banda sonora formada per cançons protesta de diferents generacions.

El coreògraf i ballarí belga Jan Martens creu que qualsevol cos té alguna cosa a dir. Amb cada nova peça intenta redibuixar la relació entre públic i intèrpret. Martens és artista associat de De Singel a Anvers, a Bèlgica, i té la seva pròpia productora i plataforma coreogràfica, GRIP, fundada juntament amb la gestora Klaartje Oerlemans.

Dissabte 19 de març hi haurà una sessió introductòria de l’espectacle emmarcada dins del programa ‘Una Hora Abans’ del Mercat de les Flors.

Crítica: Any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones


Voices of protest

per Alx Phillips

The first large-format piece by the Belgian choreographer Jan Martins, Any Attempt… takes an absurdly violent title and spins it into a stunning 90-minute celebration of humanity in all its diversity. The piece incorporates 17 dancers of ages of around 16 to 69 and is set to a soundtrack that leaps around in time, featuring British spoken word artist Kae (Kate) Tempest, the late Polish composer Henryk Gorecki, and 1960s US jazz musicians Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln

Martens envisaged the work as a way to bring a sense of history and insistence to the voices of protest. The title, he says, is an actual quote from Chinese president Xi Jinping in reference to the Hong Kong demonstrations: “I heard it and I was waiting for a reaction, and there was none. It made me think about how we get so used to violence in language and we shrug our shoulders and just go on, and yet we see how language can turn very quickly into actual violence.” 

In a previous piece, Passing the Bechdel Test, Martens worked with 13 queer youngsters who felt frustrated by the perceived lack of societal progress. That the same topics were being talked about again and again triggered ideas for this project, says the choreographer, aimed at bringing a lot of people he was working with together. “I wanted to work with a very atypical corps de ballet. Among them, are the eldest dancer Truus Bronkhorst, an icon in Dutch modern dance in the 1980s, performers from Dance On, a Berlin-based company who only works with dancers over 40, plus younger dancers from a pre-education of dance in Antwerp."

As a soundtrack, Martens looked to protest music that would reflect the diversity of ages of the performers. Roach and Lincoln belong to the 1960s civil rights era in America; Tempest is a prominent spoken word artist from the UK, while the late Polish composer Gorecki, better known for his religious music, was chosen for this rebellious composition from the 1980s. “At that time it was the time of Solidarność (Solidarity) in Poland, and he left his job at the university because he thought that the Communist government was interfering way too much. [In] this concerto … he took a lot of influences from minimalism, which was a very American form of music: Philip Glass, Steve Reich... this for me was a form of protest, and when I heard the piece I really fell in love with it because it’s really repetitive, so the insisting… saying the same things in order to achieve change, that is why this music is repeated a lot in the work.”

How such diverse dancers could communicate with each other was a major challenge, but a crucial one, says Martens, for whom it was very important that the working process and the theme of the performance were in line: “To form a truly diverse community there is a lot of time and work that you have to invest: firstly, in discussing differences, and then speaking out in one voice.”