On Monday 19 June at 8pm, Flemish choreographer Jan Martens will present the production of any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones on the stage of the Hybernia Theatre in Prague. The performance is literally a source of hope and contagious energy, not only thanks to the grandiose finale that will not leave you sitting still.

For the birth of this work, Jan Martens was inspired by the global wave of protests, from Black Lives Matter, to strikes by environmental activists, to women's marches in the US and Chile. He asked how to swim against the stream? Or - in the context of dance - how can standing still be a form of resistance or rebellion?

In any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones, Jan Martens dared to be more politically explicit. "These days we have little reason to rejoice. Radical right-wing thinking is creeping in everywhere, just as it did in the 1930s." For the title of his new piece, Martens used a threatening quote from the Chinese president Xi Jinping of China addressed to the demonstrators who have been occupying the streets of Hong Kong for months to demand more independence. “It’s interesting how Xi Jinping’s words were translated differently on different websites”, says Martens. “In these post-truth times, language is no longer a tool with which we report facts, but an ideological weapon.”

A group of 17 performers, each of them is different, with a distinctive voice and their own experience and skills on stage, together they form one entity. The youngest one is 18 and the oldest is one 72. "For the movement material, we drew from a variety of themes," says Jan Martens about his performance. "For example, we played with physical boundaries. How do you suggest that something is enough? In addition, we explored folk dances, for example. I was intrigued by the fact that they not only create connections between people, but also try to define national identity."

Despite the gloomy title, Martens also highlights the issue of hope: "Young climate activists are often seen as naive, but what if hope is the only drive to do something?"

"Protest, demonstration, defiance of clichés and pressures... for me Jan Martens embodies the courage to take a completely different path than any of us expect. And this is also in relation to his previous work. The diversity of the 17 performers on stage brings unprecedented variety, you can't keep track of everything that's going on, and you're very keen to see it all again. After the Avignon premiere, which ended with standing ovations, one critic particularly praised its combination of mathematical precision and pop playfulness, which is very fitting. I consider Monday night in Hybernia as the highlight of the TANEC PRAHA festival." says its director Yvona Kreuzmannová.