The Common People

The Common People is a composition of first encounters, a social experiment, workshop, installation and performance in one. The stage is reclaimed as a space for encounter between human and human in the most literal sense.

The Common People wants to disconnect people from the screens surrounding us, to create physical encounters in a thorough and human way. Together with film director Lukas Dhont and an artistic team, Martens will work with 48 inhabitants of the city where the performance will take place. In two weeks time the participants are prepared for the performance days on which they will have an encounter with somebody they will meet for the very first time, resulting in an ongoing duet marathon on stage. The Common People becomes the portrait of a city, of its inhabitants, and of the human kind, searching for intimacy and encounter. A performance that celebrates the narration of daily life, built on a deep interest in the human species.

Showing wpZimmer – 23 April (Dance Day 2016) – work in progress

Jan Martens

Jan Martens studied at the Fontys Dance Academy in Tilburg and graduated in 2006 from the dance department of the Artesis Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. Since 2010 he has been making his own choreographic work which, over the years, has been performed with increasing regularity before a national and international audience.

Jan Martens’ work 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.


By: Jan Martens and Lukas DhontWith: 40 inhabitants of the cityArtistic team: Yanna Soentjens, Joris van Oosterwijk, Steven Michel, Kimmy Ligtvoet, Laura Vanborm, Sebastiaan Eggermont, Brian Windelinckx, Rudi Meulemans and Louis RichardLighting Design: Jan FedingerTechnical supervision: Michel SpangProduction: GRIPCo-production: tanzhaus nrw, SPRING performing arts festival, ICKamsterdam (in frame of Nieuwe Makers Regeling), Wiener Festwochen and CDCN Le GymnaseWith the support of: CAMPO, STUK, deSingel international arts campus, vaba lava & r.a.a.a.m. & mousonturm and wpZimmerWith the financial support of: The Government of Flanders, Performing Arts Fund NL and the city of Antwerp