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Rengjøringsdanseren – Fire spørsmål til Martijn Joling

Martijn Joling – Foto: Joseph Malone
Danseren og koreografen Martijn Joling fra Nederland har danset seg gjennom Europa og til slutt endt opp i Drøbak i Norge. Det var ikke gitt at Martijn skulle bli danser, men etter råd fra faren valgte han danseutdanning og har ikke sett seg tilbake siden. I sin første helaftens danseforestilling er det noe så vanlig og gjenkjennelig som rengjøring som er fokus.

Av Sindre Jacobsen

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently in the middle of the creation of my first full-evening performance «Clean Bastards» which will premiere on the 15th of February at SMIA in Drøbak, 30 minutes outside of Oslo. The performance is about a physical act, which most of us have in common, namely that of cleaning. It’s an important part of life and also an important part of society. I like that each one of us can have their own relation with cleaning. Sometimes we might dread it, and other times it can be enjoyable. It is practical, physical and therapeutic – all at the same time. 

The contrasts inspired me a lot to make a work about it.

…I also want to make a kind of homage to cleaners…

My dad advised me to go to dance school for a year instead… He used to be a great social dancer and advised me that it would be a good skill as an actor to learn more about the body… I never stopped dancing.

When, where and why did you start dancing? Why did you choose dance as your form of expression?

I was 15 years old and actually started dancing because I was too late to apply for an education in acting. My dad advised me to go to dance school for a year instead… He used to be a great social dancer and advised me that it would be a good skill as an actor to learn more about the body… I never stopped dancing. After mainly doing hip-hop and breakdance, I fell in love with other styles, and started my contemporary dance education at University of Arts in Amsterdam.

Before I started my career as a dancer I was a Dutch rapper in The Netherlands and was an active figure in the freestyle rap battle scene. After being able to describe concepts, thoughts and emotions into detail through rap, I gained interest in contemporary dance and switched my focus. To me, dance became the abstract and universal language of exactly that what words could not express.

Clean bastards – Foto: Martijn Joling

Why did you move to Norway and how will you describe the Norwegian dance field compared to the Dutch?

After my graduation in 2014 there was a huge cut in the Dutch art scene and I actually moved to Germany as I had gotten a fulltime contract in a German State Theater. After a while there, I moved to Berlin where I had my base as a freelance dancer. Besides performing for others, I wanted to create own work and I didn’t find Berlin an easy place to do that. It was only in 2019 I made the decision to move to Norway together with my partner who is Norwegian.

I feel I’m just getting familiar to the Norwegian scene and am very excited to be here.

The Dutch as well as the German scene have a long history in modern and contemporary dance, and people all around the country go to dance performances on a regular basis. Here the dance field is growing a lot, which is exciting, but going to dance performances is perhaps less integrated in people’s lives.

What is important for your artistic development and what / who inspires you?

The most important for me is to set myself a challenge. I wouldn’t want to create something if it felt easy. I feel I’m doing the right thing if I also feel I’m on the edge of failing. Over the last years I’ve had the honor to work as a performer with makers such as; Roy Assaf, Sandra Marín Garcia, David Zambrano and Bodytalk dance theatre who inspire my path as a maker.

Martijn Dirk Joling

Født 1991 i Nederland.
Bosatt i Drøbak.

Har jobbet som danser med bl. a. David Zambrano, Dance Company Nanine Linning, Da Motus, State Theatre Braunschweig og Bodytalk dance theatre. Har presentert egne vier i Norge, Spania, Egypt Japan, Nederland, Polen og Tyskland.

Aktuell med forestillingen «Clean Bastards» som skal vises i Drøbak, Fredrikstad, Ål og Bergen i februar.