6 May 2023 19:30

Jan Martens / GRIP in collaboration with Dance On Ensemble: any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones

Please be advised that strobe lights creating a flashing effect are used during the performance.


The work of Martens is nurtured by the belief that each body can communicate, that each body has something to say. That direct communication expresses itself in transparent forms. His work is a sanctuary in which the notion of time becomes tangible again and in which there is room for observation and emotion, as well as reflection. To achieve this result he creates not so much a movement language of his own, but shapes and reuses existing idioms in a different context so that new ideas emerge. In each new work he tries to redraw the relation between public and performer.

With any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones, Jan Martens is for the first time fully turning his attention to the main stage. A production about the power that lies in being out of step, performed by a seventeen-strong, atypical corps de ballet made up of unique personalities. The heterogeneous group of dancers spans several generations, the youngest being 15 and the eldest 68, with significant differences between them in terms of track record and technical background. In the new creation, they seek their own voice within the dance and beyond, looking for an idiom that fits them like a glove. One by one they claim their place on stage, without cutting off the others for all that. A horizontal exercise in giving each other the necessary space, while being careful not to steal the limelight. 

any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones is a rich performance that does not hesitate to seek out the ecstatic. In times of extreme polarization, this group sets social dogmas aside to recognize and embrace a range of distinct identities. Being uninhibitedly themselves - in both life and art - with the stage as their ideological testing ground. They are supported by a soundtrack that consists of atypical protest songs from different ages – from Henryk Gorecki via Max Roach & Abbey Lincoln to Kae Tempest. 

For the creation, Martens was inspired by the global wave of protests, from the Black Lives Matter marches, the gilets jaunes to the young climate activists and the women’s marches in the US and Chile.

For the title of his new piece, Martens used a threatening quote from President Xi Jinping of China addressed to the demonstrators who have been occupying the streets of Hong Kong for months to demand more independence. ‘It’s interesting how Xi Jinping’s words were translated differently on different websites’, says Martens. ‘In these post-truth times, language is no longer a tool with which we report facts, but an ideological weapon.’

The most ambitious work of the Flemish choreographer is profoundly right, unifying, and generous, both politically and aesthetically. In short, it is difficult to come away unscathed.

Workshop with Jan Martens
Saturday, 6 May 2023, 10.00–13.00, Duša Počkaj Hall 
In cooperation with GRIP, Cankarjev dom is hosting a free workshop for professional dancers, choreographers and performers. The workshop will be conducted by Jan Martens, the founder of the dance company GRIP. The participants will revisit together with the workshop leader a part of the creative process of Martens' touring production any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones, working with the complex score of Gorecki's Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings Op.40, which acts as a unifying pillar for the 17 movement solos in any attempt. 

The workshop is full. No more places available.

Jan Martens / GRIP in collaboration with Dance On Ensemble: any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones

6 May 2023 19:30
6 May 2023 19:30
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17,00 | 21,00 | 25,00 | 28,00 EUR

15,00 EUR * * EUR for younger than 25 and older than 65, as well as pensioners, discounted prices for the lowest seat category

Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Choreography: Jan Martens 
Dance: 17 out of these dancers: Abigail Aleksander, Pierre Bastin, Georgia Boddez, Ty Boomershine, Truus Bronkhorst, Camilla Bundel, Jim Buskens, Baptiste Cazaux, Zoë Chungong, Piet Defrancq, Naomi Gibson, Simon Lelievre, Kimmy Ligtvoet, Solal Mariotte, Cherish Menzo, Steven Michel, Gesine Moog, Dan Mussett, Wolf Overmeire, Tim Persent, Courtney May Robertson, Laura Vanborm, Zora Westbroek, Loeka Willems, Lia Witjes-Poole, Maisie Woodford, Paolo Yao

Artistic assistance: Anne-Lise Brevers
Lighting design: Jan Fedinger 
Assistance lighting design: Vito Walter 
Costume design: Cédric Charlier 
Assistance costume design: Alexandra Sebbag and Thibault Kuhn 
Technical direction: Michel Spang 
Photography: Phile Deprez 

Production GRIP 
In collaboration with Dance On Ensemble 



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