Double bill from young Flemish choreographer Jan Martens exudes relentless energy at the National Arts Centre Studio from October 22 to 24

NAC Dance is delighted to present the intrepid and wildly talented Flemish choreographer Jan Martens. This young and critically-acclaimed choreographer will offer two of his most recent choreographies, ODE TO THE ATTEMPT and THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER. These two energetic pieces, which draw on various aspects of modern culture, are touring in North America and will grace the National Arts Centre Studio’s stage from October 22 to 24.

Belgian-born Jan Martens was trained in dance in Antwerp, and graduated with a degree in dance from the Artesis Dance Conservatory in 2006. In 2009, he began to develop his choreographic work, and his very first piece I Can Ride a Horse Whilst Juggling So Marry Me, was performed in 2010. Human beings are the focal point of Martens' work, and he takes a special interest in the beauty of the “incomplete” human body in its quest for perfection.   

Coming as he does from a generation that spends far too much time on computers and smartphones, he has opted to open the program with a self-portrait in the form of a collage based on his everyday life. Called ODE TO THE ATTEMPT, this work on the theme of individualism is a new solo that challenges his creative process and his way of working and living.

After that, Martens will push the human body to the limit in The DOG DAYS ARE OVER, a choreographic work that has a group of eight dancers jumping and bouncing around the stage for 70 minutes. Moving rhythmically in fits and starts, the dancers will jointly test their physical stamina as they attempt to reveal the people hidden behind the dancers.

Jan’s latest group work, THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER, takes us on a physical and emotional ride — it impresses us for its sheer stamina while compelling us to look at our rushed lives. But I couldn’t bring the company without also showing the man himself.” Says Cathy Levy, NAC Executive Producer, Dance.

The show will be presented on October 22, 23 and 24 at 8:00 pm in the NAC Studio. The performance is 2h in length with an intermission.

NOTE: ODE TO THE ATTEMPT contains full nudity.

ODE TO THE ATTEMPT is a new solo that Martens created for himself. After creating some almost dogmatic pieces such as THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER and Sweat Baby Sweat, this new solo is a free place for Martens to experiment. The result is a collage-like self-portrait laying bare choreographic and other choices and his way of working and living. Authenticity, manipulation, coolness, perfectionism, humour and melancholy form the extremes between which Martens moves, while asking himself whether he’s part of a new generation. In this solo Martens gives insight into his way of working and living. He is standing in front of you, inviting you to have a look inside his head, and his computer.

DURATION: 30 minutes

THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER is Jan Martens’ first work for a group of dancers since his debut I can ride a horse whilst juggling so marry me in 2010. The starting point for the work is a quote by American photographer Philippe Halsman who said back in 1958: “When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.”

DRAMATURGY: Renée Copraij
TECHNICS: Michel Spang
PRODUCTION: ICKamsterdam & Jan Martens
DURATION: 70 minutes

Jan Martens performs in the Studio of the National Arts Centre on Thursday October 22, Friday October 23 and Saturday October 24 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $31 for adults and $17.50 for students (upon presentation of a valid student ID card).

Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices; to reserve your seats, call 613 947-7000 x634 or e-mail

Tickets are available for purchase:
• In person at the NAC Box Office;
• At all Ticketmaster outlets;
• By telephone from Ticketmaster, 1-888-991-2787 (ARTS); and
• Online through the Ticketmaster link on the NAC’s website (

A service charge applies on all purchases made through Ticketmaster.


Alexandra Campeau
Associate Communications Officer
NAC Dance
613 947-7000 x508

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