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)

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.


Direction: Jan MartensWith: Cherish Menzo, Nelle Hens, Piet Defrancq, Kimmy Ligtvoet, Steven Michel, Julien Josse, Laura Vanborm and Naomi GibsonUnderstudies: Morgane Ribbens, Ilse Ghekiere, Amerigo Delli Bove, Daniel Barkan, Connor Schumacher, Caspar Knops and Victor DumontLighting design: Jan FedingerDramaturgy: Renée CopraijTechnical supervision: Michel SpangProduction: JAN and ICKamsterdamCo-production: Frascati Producties, DansBrabant, SPRING performing arts festival, tanzhaus nrw, CDC du Val-de-Marne La Briqueterie and TAKT DommelhofWith the support of: workspacebrussels and wpZimmerInternational diffusion: A Propic / Line Rousseau and Marion GauventWith the financial support of: the Government of Flanders and Performing Arts Fund NL