Demasiado cortas las piernas (too short legs in Spanish) is a play that causes steady tension with the moral of the audience, denying them the relief of having the reason in private and domestic topics, questioning over and over the reasons that should cause guilty and they actually cause pleasure. It had a recent season in Camilo Henríquez Theater.
“But he does not reach the piece of apple in his hand as he did with the rest, he puts it directly in his mouth and he eats it with a submissive look”
Four rigid metal chairs remain empty in front of the stage. Behind them, in the middle, a large white veil. In the background an actress and her three stage partners. They speak quickly, in a choreographed manner, making it clear from the earliest dialogues that the play covers a wide range of themes around intrafamily abuse. To be more precise, of parents who abuse their daughters.
Not everything happens after the veil, after the opening the actors go have a sit, they adopt the ways of a group of friends close to a family where there was a tragedy, they comment on the version that is said in the environment and the pieces of information to which each one could access according to their relationship with those affected. They use euphemisms to refer to the subject, although everyone knows that the only tragedy in that family was the father. A father who one day made the decision to enter his daughter’s room while the mother was not at home.
A mother who blames her daughter, who justifies what happened to the “eagerness” of the little girl to sit on the father’s legs. An adult man who speaks of the right to profess his love for minors in public, questioning the people who remain hidden from the crowd, to those who silence his love for fear of the law. A girl who wants to be accepted by her father. Again and again the moral codes are put to the test by the group, justifying horrors and errors so that nobody makes much scandal, so that nobody runs the veil.
“”Everyone has a stone in the shoe, a hole in the moral that they try to cover so that the ship of “normal” reality they pretend not to sink”
There is also a table on the stage, and on the table a fruit bowl on which four red apples rest. The character of Nestor Cantillana takes a seat and peels the fruits with absolute calm. With the same knife cut a piece that reaches the character of Macarena Teke, and another that happens to the character played by Alvaro Espinoza. But the character of Gonzalo Muñoz does not reach the piece of apple in his hand as he did with the rest, he puts it directly in his mouth and he eats it with a submissive look. Nobody says anything.
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If for José Donoso on the subject of incest the family imposed “a thick veil”, for the Swiss Katja Brunner, who wrote this work with only 18 years, a thin veil is enough. It is an excellent way to represent that simply nobody wants to talk about the subject, that an -any- insinuation of publicly discussing intrafamily abuse can be quickly silenced because everyone has a stone in the shoe, a hole in the moral that they try to cover for that the ship of the “normal” reality that they pretend to have doesn’t sink.
In opposition to this, a crown represents the empowerment that means breaking the silence, how, from whispering to shouting, any expression that runs the fence of secrecy requires a force that many times, before the reaction of the environment, becomes a force ephemeral that urgently requires support to avoid exhaustion, sustenance to avoid extinction, or, at least, to create them without judging the people who escape to have their legs too short.
Directed by Heidrun María Breier “Too short legs” had his most recent season at the central Camilo Henríquez Theater, captivating the public with a mature and extensive proposal.
Author: Katja Brunner
Translation: Carla Imbrogno
Direction: Heidrun María Breier
Staff: Macarena Teke, Néstor Cantillana, Gonzalo Muñoz y Álvaro Espinoza
Integral Desuign: Toro
Sound Design: Pablo Aranda
Graphic Design: Javier Pañella
Photographs: Álvaro Joppe y Alexis Mandujano
Production: Inés Bascuñán