Archive NEXT 2016

The Common People

Jan Martens (Belgium) & GRIP (Belgium)

180 minutes

What if...ordinary people from Kortrijk and Roubaix took over the dance scene ?   

What if...ordinary people were to take over the dance scene ? In The Common People  this idea becomes reality. Choreographer Jan Martens and film director Lukas Dhont make a series of duets in which 48 inhabitants from Kortrijk and Roubaix meet each other on stage for the first time. Furthermore there is an installation that raises questions about privacy, exhibitionism and our way of online communication. Indeed, in our society the need for connection is getting more and more important : the more people you know, the more 'likes' you get and the more networks you are in, the better. Smartphones and social network sites connect us but also contribute to individuality and loneliness : we are no longer connected with each other but with a screen. The Common People brings people together in a more humane way, intensely and intimately, with physical contact and one-to-one. This project is a social experiment, both workshop and performance, in which choreography, film and daily life stories are interconnected. The result is a performance that uses the theatre as a meeting place from man to man. Cheerful, vulnerable, surprising and intimate – as life itself.

NRC awarded five stars and wrote : “The Common People is the opposite of spectacular. It works out a very strong concept, which is not only a statement but also seems a plea for a respectful dealing with each other, attention, authenticity and simplicity in the theatre. Heartwarming.” With your ticket you can walk in and out of The Common People.

Jan Martens is one of the booming choreographers in the Low Countries. As a performer he danced in work of among others Koen De Preter and Ann Van den Broek but since he started making his own productions, his reputation has expanded enormously. He created a few successful duets such as Victor and Sweat baby sweat (at NEXT in 2015). His previous performance The Dog Days Are Over was selected for The Theatre Festival and has been touring the world for two years. From this season he becomes 'creative associate' in deSingel. In the work of Jan Martens, the beauty of the incomplete human being is at the centre. Or as he formulates it on his website : “perfection is boring !”.


*Kortrijk: 20.11 - 14:00

*19.11 - Bronks + Jan Martens


CONCEPT AND DIRECTION Jan Martens And Lukas Dhont WITH 48 Inhabitants Of The City ARTISTIC COLLABORATORS Yanna Soentjens, Joris Van Oosterwijk, Steven Michel, Kimmy Ligtvoet, Laura Vanborm, Sebastiaan Eggermont And Louis Richard LIGHT Design Jan Fedinger TECHNICAL DIRECTION Michel Spang PRODUCTION Grip INTERNATIONAL DIFFUSION A Propic/Line Rousseau COPRODUCTION Tanzhaus Nrw, Spring Performing Arts Festival, Ickamsterdam (In The Framework Of The Nieuwe Makers Regeling), Wiener Festwochen, Cdc Le Gymnase SUPPORTED BY Campo, Stuk Kunstencentrum, Desingel, Vaba Lava & R.A.A.A.M. & Mousonturm, Wpzimmer WITH THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF The Flemish Government, Performing Arts Fund Nl, City Of Antwerp