any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones

  • Dance
  • Show
The 2021 archive

Jan Martens

Antwerp / Created in 2021

This group show by Flemish choreographer Jan Martens embodies the current movements of resistance against oppression, inequality, and the climate crisis. Silence, screams, immobility, pressure: what paths remain open to us?

any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones, Jan Martens, 2021 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


Choreographer Jan Martens is on fire! With the help of 17 performers, the Flemish artist proposes to explore the various forms of activism currently multiplying all over the world. In the face of climate-related or social challenges, against established or budding tyrannies, many motives for resistance find themselves embodied by dancers of all ages. With, at the heart of this piece in movement, what becomes the beginning of all political action: immobility. Through the sudden slowing down of its dynamic, any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones questions our impulses and our exaltations, as well as our need to recentre ourselves all the better to act. Jan Martens turns the stage into the space of a possible democracy, where slowing down doesn't mean stopping cold, where music sounds like a shout, and protest is a shared necessity. With this astounding work of synthesis, Jan Martens presents an ideal community and leads our steps further, closest to what makes us human.


With Ty Boomershine, Truus Bronkhorst, Jim Buskens, Baptiste Cazaux, Zoë Chungong, Piet Defrancq, Naomi Gibson, Cherish Menzo, Steven Michel, Gesine Moog, Dan Mussett, Wolf Overmeire, Tim Persent, Courtney May Robertson, Laura Vanborm, Loeka Willems in alternation with Pierre Bastin, Georgia Boddez, Zora Westbroek

Choreography Jan Martens
Artistic collaboration Anne-Lise Brevers
Lights Jan Fedinger assisted by Vito Walter
Costumes Cédric Charlier, Thibault Kuhn, Alexandra Sebbag
Outside view Marc Vanrunxt, Renée Copraij, Rudi Meulemans, Siska Baeck
Additionnal music Henryk Górecki, Kae Tempest, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln
Text from Spring by Ali Smith with the permission of Wylie Agency

Technicians Michel Spang with Valentijn Weyn, Bennert Vancottem
Production management Sylvie Svanberg assisted by Saskia Vervoort
Booking Line Rousseau, Marion Gauvent (A Propic)

Complete list of musical piece : “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.


Production GRIP
In collaboration with Dance On Ensemble
Co-production deSingel (Antwerp), Theater Freiburg, Sadler's Wells (London), Festival d'Avignon, Julidans (Amsterdam), Le Gymnase CDCN Roubaix Hauts-de-France, Norrlandsoperan (Umeå, Suède), La Bâtie Festival de Genève et l'Association pour la danse contemporaine Genève, tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf), Le Parvis Scène nationale Tarbes-Pyrénées, La Danse en grande forme (project A-CDCN / ACCN with : 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, Pôle Sud CDCN Strasbourg, La Place de La Danse CDCN Toulouse Occitanie), Perpodium (Antwerp)
With the support of De Grote Post (Ostende), Charleroi Danse Centre chorégraphique de Wallonie-Bruxelles, CCN d'Orléans, Théâtre d'Orléans, December Dance – Concertgebouw and CC Brugge (Bruges), Flemish government, th city of Antwerp, Tax Shelter of the Federal Government of Belgium, Cronos Invest
With Les Hivernales - Centre de développement chorégraphique national d’Avignon

Practical infos



Read more


Dialogue with Jan Martens

About the show any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones
  • Dialogue artists-spectators
  • The Workshops of thought
With the Ceméa

The 2021 archive