The Dog Days Are Over
© Piet Goethals


The Dog Days Are Over

In THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER, the dancer is defined as a pure performer, striving after perfection. Subjected to a complex, mathematical, vigorous and exhausting choreography executed in forced uniformity, the eight dancers ultimately slip up. And then their masks fall.

The American photographer Philippe Halsman once said: “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.” Jan Martens takes this stand as a starting point for THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER and exposes through the jump the person behind the dancer. Thanks to its radical choreographic form, THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER reveals the audience’s perception of dancers, choreographers, spectators and the current cultural policy. Where does the thin line between art and entertainment lie? Who are we as an audience when we contemplate the suffering of dancers from the theatre like a bullfight in an arena? What do we want to get as audience? Do we want to experience an intensity that we do not feel in our everyday life? Do we want to experience beauty that is perhaps not visible in our everyday life? Is contemporary dance striptease for the elite? THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER makes the viewer shift in his position: from being merely subjected to the experience to actively reflecting on it.

Premiere: 20 March 2014, Frascati Amsterdam (NL)