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“Still standing you” – too much for me

Theresa Steininger

There are things I certainly don´t want to see on stage. Two people beating each other with belts, jumping on each others bodies or pulling each others penises to a very unnatural length are among them. In „Still Standing you“, Pieter Ampe and Guilherme Garrido wanted, according to the program text, to find a new dance idiom which is distinct to everything else going on in contemporary dance – they have suceeded in doing that: I have not seen before many of the moves they have come up with in order to express enmity, friendship, rivalry and love – Ampe walking on the side of Garrido´s feet, the latter pulling one leg in front of the other while lying on the floor, so that the former can step on one after the other. The two of them chasing each other, one walking on his knees with his legs folded, grunting like animals. There are more absurd and therefore funny parts: One sitting on the others back, the two of them together simulating a monster with loud stamping and sounds of explosion with every step they take. Passages which made people laugh are as well when Garrido is running around like a chicken, only wearing socks. Or when, while boxing, they groan the „Little Night Music“ by Mozart. Or when Garrido draws a heart on Ampe´s back when hugging him with both legs and arms.

But at a certain point, this performance, which often is about hurting the other, gets too much to percieve for me – what at first has been playfull and funny now becomes brutal. It certainly remains a unique style, but one that I have difficulties to look at. When the two performers are slapping each other with their belts, the audience is still laughing, which I can not understand. When they start to turn and pull the other´s penis, while turning around each other and below the other´s legs always holding it, I am again thinking: There are things that, as new and innovative and thoughtout they might be, I certainly don´t want to see on stage.

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