„The Common People. Tallinn Draft”

curated program premiere, curated program Kuraatoriprogrammi lavastus Dance

Organiser Grip and Vaba Lava

a composition of first encounters

„The Common People. Tallinn Draft” is social experiment, workshop and performance in one.

In „The Common People. Tallinn Draft, the stage is reclaimed as a space for encounter between human and human in the most literal sense. In society, the need to connect becomes more and more important: the more people you know, the more networks you are in, the more likes you get, the better.

„The Common People. Tallinn Draft” wants to disconnect people from the screens surrounding us, to create physical encounters in a thorough and human way. Together with film director Lukas Dhont and an artistic team, Martens will work with 48 inhabitants of the city where the performance will take place. In two weeks time they create a performance in which ‘common people’ have an encounter with somebody they will meet on stage for the very first time.

A mix of choreography, daily life and film; „The Common People. Tallinn Draft” becomes the portrait of a city, of its inhabitants, and of the human kind, searching for intimacy and encounter.

A performance that celebrates the narration of daily life, built on a deep interest in the human species.

Jan Martens is a young Belgian choreographer making work which is fresh, hard-core, conceptual but accessible and that above all communicates directly. In a short time his work received critical and popular acclaim which resulted in a growing number of shows performed mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium, and the rest of Europe. All Jan Martens works explore the possibility of a perfect symbiosis between form and content. He is not trying to create a new movement language, but instead he molds and recycles existing idioms and places them in a different setting, so a new idea emerges. In his work the beauty of the incomplete human being stands up front, rather than to excel in choreographic complexity or physical virtuosity. This season, Jan Martens is artist in residence at tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf (DE), and supported by DansBrabant (NL), SPRING performing arts festival Utrecht (NL), ICKamsterdam, the Flemish Government and the Dutch Performing Arts fund.

With the financial support of the government of Flanders, The Performing Arts Fund NL, City of Antwerp and Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The production is supported by “Szenenwechsel”, a joint programme of Robert Bosch Stiftung and the International Theatre Institute (ITI).

Premier on 18th March 2016.

After the second performance on 19th March 2016 there is artists´ talk with the audience.



  • Concept Jan Martens
  • Direction Jan Martens and Lukas Dhont
  • Artistic collaborators Yanna Soentjens, Maarten Dekort, Steven Michel, Kimmy Ligtvoet, Laura Vanborm and others
  • Technical Direction Michel Spang
  • Production Grip
  • Coproduction tanzhaus nrw, SPRING performing arts festival, ICKamsterdam (in the framework of the Nieuwemakers regeling), Wiener Festwochen, CDC Le Gymnase, Vaba Lava
  • Supported by CAMPO, STUK kunstencentrum, deSingel & mousonturm, wp Zimmer, Bosch Stiftung