any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones

Jan Martens / International Festival New Europe. Escaping forward.

a performance for 17 dancers aged between 17 and 70

Play duration: 1 hour 30 minutes Tickets: 50/35 PLN

a performance for 17 dancers aged between 17 and 70

Play duration: 1 hour 30 minutes Tickets: 50/35 PLN

'Snowflakes, leaves, humans, plants, raindrops, stars and molecules all come in communities. The singular cannot really exist.’ - Paula Gunn Allen in Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman's Sourcebook

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 17 and the eldest 70, with significant differences between them in terms of track record and technical background. In any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones, 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.

Since 2011, Jan Martens makes work that talks about how people relate to each other and to the here and now. This resulted in a wide array of pieces: a duet (SWEAT BABY SWEAT - 2011), solos (ODE TO THE ATTEMPT & lostmovements – 2014 & 2018), meetings between people who never saw each other before (THE COMMON PEOPLE - 2016) group pieces that are buzzing with surrender and ecstasy (THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER with 8 dancers & RULE OF THREE - 2014 & 2017), a work for young people that tackles issues such as gender diversity and gender equality (PASSING THE BECHDEL TEST – 2018).

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. In the same week, on July 12, 2021 ELISABETH GETS HER WAY premiered, a solo by and with Martens inspired by the Polish harpsichordist Elisabeth Chojnacka. Martens is currently working towards the premiere of FUTUR PROCHE – a collaboration with Opera Ballet Vlaanderen - on July 19 2022 at the prestgious Cour d’honneur of Festival d’Avignon. Martens will combine his role as co-artistic director with GRIP with that of associate choreographer with Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in the coming seasons.

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.



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, Camilla Bundel, Paolo Yao [on tour], Abigail Aleksander, Maisie Woodford, Simon Lelievre, Solal Mariotte [understudies] and Baptiste Cazaux [original cast member]




COSTUME DESIGN: Cédric Charlier

ASSISTANCE COSTUME DESIGN: Alexandra Sebbag and Thibault Kuhn

OUTSIDE EYE: Marc Vanrunxt, Renée Copraij, Rudi Meulemans and Siska Baeck

TEXT: excerpt from 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” written by Kae Tempest and 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” written by Maxwell Roach © Published by Milma Publishing Company Administered by Kobalt Music Publishing Limited.


TECHNICIANS: Michel Spang and Valentijn Weyn or Bart Van Hoydonck/Nele Verreyken


PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE: Marie Luyten (internship) and Saskia Vervoort


BUSINESS SUPPORT: Ruud Van Moorleghem, before: Lotte De Mont




TRAILERS AND TEASERS: Paul Sixta, Stanislav Dobak en Jan Fedinger



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

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