It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend

Lisbeth Gruwez & Maarten Van Cauwenberghe

Creation: 2012


A speech can be a mighty weapon. Throughout the centuries it has enthused countless masses and galvanized them into action, for better or for worse. It has unleashed revolutions and fueled wars. Just by the power of words. But a speech does not only enthuse the hearers, often it also transposes the speaker into a state of trance. Then he loses himself in a stream of words, in an obsessive, ecstatic way of speaking. The power of a speech often depends on the trance of the speaker.

In It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend Lisbeth Gruwez dances the trance of that ecstatic speechifying. In the process, she takes advantage of fragments from a speech by the ultraconservative American televangelist Jimmy Swaggart.

Initially the parlance is friendly and pacifying, but from his compulsive desire to persuade transpires growing despair. Eventually it exposes its deepest nature: violence.



When did you lately see a dance performance that kept you in rapt attention from second 1 to second 3000 so as to maximally enjoy every single movement? If this was some time ago, then we have some good advice for you: book, no, grab a ticket for “It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend” (****). Starring: Lisbeth Gruwez.

Even though this performance does not thematize merry subject-matter, the way this subject-matter is being transposed into dance is so impressive that you walk away with a swirly head and eyes gleaming with wonder. Marvellous!

by Els Van Steenberghe – Knack

The power relations between male voice and female performer (who manipulates who?) becomes a marvellously threatening pas de deux.. (…) Lisbeth Gruwez leaves us behind flabbergasted, struck dumb. 2012 has only just started, but Gruwez at once sets the standards very high. ****

by Sarah Vankersschaever – De Standaard

The fusion of sound, choreography and light keep the public enraptured. Once more Lisbeth Gruwez succeeds in keeping the audience spellbound with this new performance. (…)

The dancer’s trance fires the audience. She inflames us and keeps us in rapt attention till the end of the show. ****

by Eline Van de Voorde – Cutting Edge

With ‘It’s going to get worse’ she consolidates her status of strong woman, exploring borders at the cutting edge and transgressing them. (…) The choreography dialogues with the ingenious soundscape that Maarten Van Cauwenberghe constructed with fragments from Swaggart’s speech (…) It’s a relief to see such a clear elaboration of an idea without it becoming conceptual or arty farty.  ****

by Lene Van Langenhove – ZONE02

 Control is what it is all about. Form is the key. And the power with which Lisbeth Gruwez affirms dance with  bravura. End of babbling. End of modesty. From now on it will get worse, friends. Let it come down.

by Melanie Suchy – Ballet Tanz

The public experienced a key moment in the history of theatrical and dramaturgical presence.

by Hannoversche Allgemeine

In contrast with the show’s title, it doesn’t get much better and better than this, my friend.

by Lisa Wolfe – Total Theater Review