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Press Release: Lilian Baylis Studio presents a dance show with live drumming this October

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Jan Martens                                    
Lilian Baylis Studio, EC1R 4TN 
Thursday 19 & Friday 20 October
Tickets: £17
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com

Sadler’s Wells presents in the Lilian Baylis Studio one of the most original Belgian choreographers of his generation, Jan Martens on Thursday 19 & Friday 20 Octoberwith his new work RULE OF THREE.

RULE OF THREE positions itself as a danced performance somewhere between a concert and a short story. It features American drummer NAH performing live with three dancers, Steven Michel, Julien Josse and Courtney Robertson, recreating the atmosphere of a nightclub combined with the feeling of getting lost in the pages of a book. 

RULE OF THREE builds on contrast, between stillness and explosion, precision and intuition, heart and reason. At times, rhythm, light and movement accumulate, at other times they are stripped down to an untamed meditation. Martens puts the human being central to his work and does not attempt to create a new language of movement but forms and reuses existing idioms, placing them in different contexts so that new ideas can arise. 

For RULE OF THREE, Martens works for the very first time with live music as a driving force. NAH produces anxiety-laden tracks and sound collages with firm roots planted in DIY punk, noise, avant-jazz, and the restlessness of hip-hop, blending live and programmed drums with off-kilter sequenced elements with found sounds and heavily manipulated samples. 

Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Programmer & Artist Development Eva Martinez says:Jan Martens has attracted my attention as a curator for several years now, as a distinctive voice amongst the younger generation of European dance artists developing engaging choreographic work in the last decade. His work is anchored in a strong physical exploration but also in a connection to important themes in our society, with both depth and lightness, personal touch and universality. He is one of those rare artists who is truly interested in the connection with his audiences, wherever they are, challenging them at the same time as delighting them. 

Jan Martens graduated from Artesis Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp in 2006 and started to develop his own choreographic work in 2010. In a short time his work has received critical and popular acclaim and has been presented at many theatres and festivals across Europe, including Frascati (Amsterdam), CAMPO (Gent), Dampfzentrale Bern, Théâtre De La Ville (Paris), Dance Umbrella (London), Tanz Im August, Tanzquartier (Vienna), and many more
. In 2014 Martens founded his company GRIP, together with business leader Klaartje Oerlemans. Martens is Artiste associé at the CDC Le Gymnase in Roubaix and Creative Associate at deSingel International Arts Campus, Antwerp. 

Free post-show talk: Thursday 19 October 

Listing information:

Jan Martens                                     

Lilian Baylis Studio, EC1R 4TN
Thursday 19 & Friday 20 October
Tickets: £17
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com

Notes to Editors:

Sadler's Wells is a world-leading dance house, committed to producing, commissioning and presenting new works and to bringing the best international and UK dance to London and worldwide audiences. Under the Artistic Directorship of Alistair Spalding, the theatre’s acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap.

Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 130 new dance works to the stage and its award-winning commissions and collaborative productions regularly tour internationally. Sadler’s Wells supports 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies, an Associate Company and three International Associate Companies. It also nurtures the next generation of talent through 
research and development, running the National Youth Dance Company and a range of programmes including Wild Card, New Wave Associates, Open Art Surgery and Summer University.

Located in Islington, north London, the current theatre is the sixth to have stood on the site since it was first built by Richard Sadler in 1683. he venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera all having started at Sadler’s Wells. Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and currently receives approximately 9% of its revenue from Arts Council England. 

Jan Martens (Belgium, 1984) studied at the Fontys dance academy in Tilburg and graduated from Artesis Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp in 2006.  He performed in the work of Koen De Preter, United-C, Mor Shani and Ann Van den Broek. In 2010 he started to develop his own choreographic work. In a short time his work has received critical and popular acclaim. From September 2014 – June 2016, Martens was artist in residence at the tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf. He is currently the 2016 – 2018 Artiste associé at the CDC Le Gymnase in Roubaix, and is also Creative Associate at deSingel International Arts Campus, Antwerp, until 2021.

His first major work, I CAN RIDE A HORSE WHILST JUGGLING SO MARRY ME (United-C, 2010), portrayed a generation of young women in a society dominated by social networks. Since 2011 his work has been produced by frascati and his next couple of works were greeted with critical acclaim, winning awards and attracting larger audiences. Described by Martens as ‘love duets’, the works investigating the cliché portrayal of a male – female relationship. A SMALL GUIDE ON HOW TO TREAT YOUR LIFETIME COMPANION (2011) got selected for Aerowaves in 2011, a hub for dance discovery in Europe, a network supporting young choreographers that promotes the work for a year to partners of Aerowaves. The work has been performed more than 100 times and goes into its seventh season of touring in and outside of Netherlands and Flanders. SWEAT BABY SWEAT (2011) was chosen for the 2012 Nederlandse Dansdagen and Circuit X 2013 and was presented as part of Dance Umbrella in 2013.

Aside from these works he has been guest choreographer for dansateliers, Meekers, and AHK. In March 2012 he created PRETTY PERFECT, a coproduction by dansateliers and Conny Janssen Danst and produced three works about unconventional beauty, for performers whose bodies are not what one would expect in a contemporary dance context. Firstly the solo BIS for the 62-year-old Truus Bronkhorst, LA BETE (2013), another solo for the young actress Joke Emmers, and VICTOR (2013), a duet for a boy and a mature man, which Martens created together with director Peter Seynaeve.

In 2014, Jan Martens created the group performance, THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER which was selected for Het Theaterfestival Vlaanderen. This performance was also presented at the Nederlandse Dansdagen, as was his solo work ODE TO THE ATTEMPT (2014). Martens’ most recent work before
 RULE OF THREE, was social experiment, workshop, installation and performance in one, THE COMMON PEOPLE, premiered in May 2016. The piece looked at physical encounters between human in a world increasingly dominated by encounters via screens. Martens worked with 48 inhabitants across the cities the show was performed in, and the show saw the performers meet another performer for the very first time on stage and create a duet.

Jan Martens was awarded the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Noord-Brabant Prize (2013), and the prestigious Charlotte Köhler prize (2015) for his artistic work. His work is regularly performed in Flanders, the Netherlands, France and Germany, and can also be seen farther afield at festivals and theaters, including Dampfzentrale Bern, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Dance Umbrella London, Tanz Im August, Tanzquartier Vienna, Usine-C Montréal, Dansenshus Stockholm and Dansehallerne Copenhagen.

Martens also regularly guest performs and coaches young creators in their own work.

NAH is a producer / drummer / visual artist currently located in Philadelphia. Blending live and programmed drums with off-kilter sequenced elements, found sounds, and heavily manipulated samples. NAH produces anxiety-laden tracks and sound collages with firm roots planted in DIY punk, noise, avant jazz, and the restlessness of hip-hop. Since 2011 NAH has produced nearly 30 releases and performed all over the US, UK, Europe, Iceland, Israel, and more.


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