With Sweat Baby Sweat in 2011, Jan Martens choreographed one of the most touching duets in recent dance history. On an empty stage, one man and one woman simply cannot take their hands off each other. Their bodies are entwined the whole time, joined together in slow and gentle contact. At times sweating, at times shivering, the couple hang on to each other letting go is not an option: it is as if they only exist as a couple. Sweat Baby Sweat is remarkable in the simplicity and reduction of things to their essence in the virtuoso performances of its protagonists Kimmy Ligtvoet and Steven Michel. Jan Martens’s staging accompanies them with text projections and a soundtrack that underscores the movement composition and the emotional connection between the dancers: “As long as you are here, I am too”, comes out of the speakers at one point. Sweat Baby Sweat is a symbiosis between storytelling and abstraction, a touching, poetic pas de deux full of emotions and a declaration of love to dance and life.
Belgian Jan Martens trained as a dancer in Tilburg and in Antwerp. After graduating in 2006, he danced with various different companies, including for Ann Van den Broek. Since his first full-length work, he has created numerous group pieces including Dog Days are over and solo works such as Vincent and Elisabeth gets her way, with which he has been successful the world over. He is now regarded as one of the most sought-after of the younger generation of choreographers. His work was presented for the first time at Sommerszene 2019 with RULE OF THREE.
Choreography: Jan Martens • Performance: Kimmy Ligtvoet, Steven Michel • Musik: Jaap van Keulen • Video: Paul Sixta • Advice: Peter Seynaeve • Technical Supervision: Michel Spang • Production: Frascati Productions, TAKT Dommelhof und JAN vzw • International Diffusion: A Propic / Line Rousseau und Marion Gauvent • Thanks to: SummerStudios Brussels und Marc Vanrunxt