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Elisabeth gets her way

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2022 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Martens, Jan (Belgium)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon , Saisons 2020 > 2022

Video producer : Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

Elisabeth gets her way

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2022 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Martens, Jan (Belgium)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon , Saisons 2020 > 2022

Video producer : Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

Elisabeth gets her way

The new solo created and performed by Jan Martens will be a danced  portrait of the Polish-born Elisabeth Chojnacka (1939–2017), an  exceptionally talented and passionate musician who contributed to the  revival of harpsichord music in the middle of the twentieth century.

While in 1968 the Paris student revolt challenged old ideals,  Chojnacka discovered avant-garde composers such as François-Bernard  Mâche and began to play more regularly the few contemporary works for  harpsichord, in addition to the classical pieces that were always part  of her repertoire. In part thanks to her talent and perseverance, a  number of composers (Ligeti, Xenakis, Ferrari, Berio, Halffter, etc.)  wrote new work for the harpsichord in the 1970s and 1980s. These were  often dedicated to Chojnacka.

ELISABETH GETS HER WAY wants to pay tribute to this  exceptional woman. The solo will be a danced portrait with a  wide-ranging soundtrack, consisting of a selection of the music she  recorded in her fifty-year career: from Nyman to Montague via Ligeti,  all performed by Chojnacka. The objective is to keep the dance close to the sometimes complex scores. Martens  ‘plays’ his body like Chojnacka played the harpsichord. Different  styles of movement are brought together, just as she effortlessly wound  her way between registers and genres with a few centuries of musical  history in her fingers. The dance pieces in the solo will be  complemented by a documentary layer in which Chojnacka’s work and life  are discussed narratively, among others through interviews with people  who were close to her.

Martens set to work earlier with a performance by Chojnacka in any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones  (premiere on February 4, 2021), a work for 17 dancers. The concerto for  harpsichord and strings by Polish composer Henryk Gorecki, which she  performed with the London Sinfonietta, plays an important role in that  production. In 2021 it will be fifty years exactly since Chojnacka released her first album: Clavecin 2000. An ideal moment to pay homage to this remarkable woman with a solo in which she is given the time and space she deserves. 

Source: Grip

More information:

Martens, Jan

Jan Martens (° 1984, Belgium) 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.    

The work of Martens 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.

Martens’ first production I CAN RIDE A HORSE WHILST JUGGLING SO MARRY ME (2010)  was a portrait of a generation of young women in a society dominated by  social networks. It was followed by two love duets that he made at  Frascati Amsterdam. A SMALL GUIDE ON HOW TO TREAT YOUR LIFETIME COMPANION (2011) was selected for Aerowaves 2011 and SWEAT BABY SWEAT (2011) for the Dutch Dance Festival 2012 and Circuit X 2013. He then created three shows about unconventional beauty, with  performers whose bodies you do not expect in the context of contemporary  dance: BIS (2012) for the then 62-year-old Truus Bronkhorst, LA BETE (2013) for the young actress Joke Emmers, and VICTOR (2013), a duet for a boy and a grown man that Martens created with director Peter Seynaeve.

In 2014 Martens focused attention on the jump as movement in the group performance THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER (2014). The production was selected for the Flanders Theatre Festival and is still touring, just like Martens’ solo ODE TO THE ATTEMPT (2014) and the project THE COMMON PEOPLE (2016),  a performance, social experiment and workshop in one, created in  collaboration with film director Lukas Dhont. Martens’ show RULE OF THREE (2017)  was a collaboration with the American sound artist NAH, and had its  premiere at deSingel in Antwerp where Martens started his trajectory as creative associate in  2017. The performance got nominated for a Zwaan (Swan) in the category  ‘most impressive dance production 2018.’ De Zwanen are seen as the most  prestigious dance prize within the Dutch performing arts field.

In the 18/19 season, Martens engaged in three collaborations. Together with 13 youths and fABULEUS, he created PASSING THE BECHDEL TEST, a theatrical production in which the voices of the youths are interwoven with  the voices of famous and less famous women from the present and the  past. He also revised the successful 2011 production A SMALL GUIDE ON HOW TO TREAT YOUR LIFETIME COMPANION with two new dancers under the title PAULINE THOMAS as commissioned by CDCN Le Gymnase in Roubaix. In January 2019, Martens himself took the stage again in the solo lostmovements,  in which he plunges into the universe of choreographer and friend Marc  Vanrunxt (Kunst/Werk). In 19/20 Martens’ focus is on the premiere of any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones.  A work for seventeen dancers between the ages of 15 and 68. The  premiere – scheduled for April 24, 2020 at DE SINGEL (Antwerp, BE) was  postponed due to the corona crisis and took in the end place on July 18  at Festival d’Avignon. On July 12, 2021 ELISABETH GETS HER WAY premiered  at Julidans (Amsterdam, NL). This solo created and performed by Jan  Martens is a danced portrait of the Polish-born Elisabeth Chojnacka  (1939–2017), an exceptionally talented and passionate musician who  contributed to the revival of harpsichord music in the middle of the  twentieth century.

In 2014 Jan Martens founded, together with business manager  Klaartje Oerlemans, the choreographic platform GRIP in Antwerp /  Rotterdam, from where they jointly produce and distribute his work as  well as support the work of Cherish Menzo and Steven Michel.

Source :  

Plasson, Fabien

Born in 1977, Fabien Plasson is a video director specialized in the field of performing arts (dance , music, etc).

During his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (joined in 1995) Fabien discovered video art. He was trained by various video artists (Joel Bartoloméo Pascal Nottoli , Eric Duyckaerts , etc) .
He first experimented with the creation of installations and cinematic objects.

From 2001 to 2011, he was in charge of Ginger & Fred video Bar’s programming at La Maison de la Danse in Lyon. He discovered the choreographic field and the importance of this medium in the dissemination, mediation and pedagogical approach to dance alongside Charles Picq, who was a brilliant video director and the director of the video department at that time.

Today, Fabien Plasson is the video director at La Maison de la Danse and in charge of the video section of, an online international  video library, and continues his creative activities, making videos of concerts, performances and also creating video sets for live performances.

Sources: Maison de la Danse ; Fabien Plasson website

More information:


GRIP is a choreographic platform under the direction of choreographer and dancer Jan Martens and business manager and coordinator Klaartje Oerlemans.
GRIP  produces and supports in the first place the work of choreographer and  maker Jan Martens, who quickly made himself a name in the performing  arts field by following an intense, international and non-conventional  parcours. His performances play in that grey zone between concrete  stories and abstract concepts. The focus often lies on people who try to  find their way through life, showing both vulnerability and strength.

GRIP furthermore endorses four choreographers in developing their  artistic trajectory: Bára Sigfúsdóttir, Steven Michel, Cherish Menzo and  Michele Rizzo. The artistic director and business manager decide  jointly what artists join GRIP. In doing so they seek to reflect and  broaden the diversity and variation in the landscape of contemporary  dance and performance.

Besides the dance makers there are five supporters: a business  manager and coordinator (Klaartje Oerlemans), a production supervisor  and tour manager (Sylvie Svanberg), a production intern (Marie Luyten), a  communications manager (Sam Loncke) and an advisor and house dramaturge  (Rudi Meulemans) who acts as a sounding board for the makers,  independently from the production dramaturges. There are also a number  of freelance collaborators, among them a rehearsal director, production  dramaturges and indeed the dancers and performers.

GRIP is a nomadic structure. GRIP does not have a studio of its own,  but makes use of the existing infrastructure in the performing arts  landscape by forging alliances with theatres, co-producers, production  companies and residency venues. The creations always emerge in different  spaces and in interaction with the different professional contexts.

GRIP is active in several countries. GRIP is a non-profit association  based in Antwerp and in Rotterdam. GRIP receives structural subsidies  from the Government of Flanders (2017-2021) and has  several international co-producers as well as many partners in Europe  and North America.

Elisabeth Gets Her Way

Choreography : Jan Martens

Interpretation : Jan Martens

Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Marc Vanrunxt, Anne-Lise Brevers, Rudi Meulemans

Lights : Elke Verachtert

Costumes : Cédric Charlie

Technical direction : Michel Spang, Elke Verachtert

Sound : Yanna Soentjens

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Grip

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse de Lyon - Fabien Plasson, 2022

Duration : 60'

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