For a boy who was born in Almansa in the Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha, becoming a dancer really wasn’t a likely occupation. But Jorge Pérez Martínez (1980) – who as a young kid was taken to flamenco and ballroom dancing lessons by his aunt ‘because he was dancing all day long’ – was always able to count on his parents’ support. “My father was never able to do what he really wanted, he had to start work at the age of fourteen.” So instead their son was given plenty of opportunity to realise his dream.
At the age of twelve Pérez Martínez began taking ballet lessons as well, and four years later he went to the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza in Madrid. While still undergoing his dance education he did a work placement at the Santamaría Dance Company and then he spent a year, also in Madrid, dancing at the Ballet Carmen Roche. But he wanted more: to leave Spain, where, he says, the training programmes are good but the range of dance companies is limited, and so to see more of the (dance) world.
For two years Pérez Martínez danced at the Stadttheater Ballet in the Swiss town of Bern. Then in 2004 he moved to Introdans, where he has felt particularly at home. This is due above all to the multifaceted repertoire.
“I can’t even list the number of pieces in which I’ve danced and the number of choreographers with whom I’ve worked. My ‘dance soul’ is being continually enriched.”
It was in 2009 in the young choreographic talent programme of Introdans, DANSERSMAKEN, that Pérez Martínez made his first choreography, La Umbra. As a dancer he always liked to improvise. But creating your very own piece, that’s something else again. It’s something you really need to be ready for, he says, certainly if like him you want to be sincere as a choreographer, if you really want to create something personal. Now he has made several works, including a diptych together with his colleague dancer/choreographer Laurent Drousie for the annual Introdans Christmas Gala and a creation for a dancers’ summer course in Hong Kong.
Pérez Martínez is not so much a choreographer who tells stories. Inspired by different music styles, his main interest is to represent a feeling or a mood. The young dance artist has a preference for effortless-seeming partner work and for organic movements, but then often with a twist: he likes ‘uncoordinated coordination’.
“To begin with it might look strange, but ultimately it turns out to coherent after all.”
He hasn’t yet decided whether he will soon want to continue his career as a full-time choreographer. Right now he is still primarily a dancer. But no matter whether he is choreographing or carrying out his recent first assignment as a repetiteur at Introdans: if he sees opportunities, he certainly won’t let them pass.
In 2016 Pérez Martínez ended his time as a dancer at Introdans. But he has been far from idle since then, travelling the world as a repetiteur and choreographer. He created the opening ballet for the MÉDITERRANÉE programme, Azul, in which he drew inspiration from the guitar music of his motherland. In 2018 he danced in the production KOGELVIS, a collaboration between Het Gelders Orkest, Toneelgroep Oostpool, Musis & Stadstheater Arnhem and Introdans.
Since the 2018-2019 season he has been engaged as ballet master at Introdans.
In 2019 he made a new choreography for several female dancers as part of the GRUPO SPORTIVO programme. Sporty, of course, but with startling humour, too.