We went to see the show Fuerza Bruta tonight at the Recoleta Cultural Center. This is a show by the same company that did De La Guarda several years ago in New York and many other cities. Fuerza Bruta is also playing in several other cities around the world, so you too can have the unforgettable experience that we had…
Before I describe it in any detail, here are some quotes from Jen and my sister on their experience this evening:
“This show challenged every sense of personal safety and self preservation I have both as a patron and a physician”
“That is probably the most uncomfortable hour I’ve ever spent”
“Ummm, what the f#*%?”
This show is very, very strange and unless you are looking to go to a rave, but can’t find one nearby, we’d suggest you stay away. It’s possible that we were simply not drunk enough to enjoy the show appropriately, but I’m fairly certain it would take quite a bit more than mere alcohol to adequately prepare yourself.
What is it?
Not a simple question to answer. We had heard lots of hype about this show and many people had told us how much we would love it. The most frequent description was “it’s like Blue Man Group meets Cirque de Soleil.” No it’s not. I can understand why people might say that–all 3 shows are very difficult to describe, but where Cirque de Soleil has unbelievably talented acrobats performing crazy feats of athleticism and grace and Blue Man Group provides comedy, weirdness and fun, Fuerza Bruta is more like an interactive modern art exhibit with the intention of being provocative for the sake of being provocative. There were parts of it that were cool, but mostly it was just uncomfortable and felt like being at an overly intense dance club–except that we weren’t really in the mood to be at a dance club since we thought we had gone to a show.
Another way to describe it would be like this: A theater special effects guy came out with a few cool live effects and said “Hey, that would make an awesome show.” So, they took their 5 effects, added a heavy trance back-beat, made the audience stand up the whole time and moved massive set pieces in and out of the middle of the audience, pushing them up against each other and into walls; threw in some very intense jumping around with non-stop strobe lights and occasionally pulled people out of the audience to break foam ceiling tiles over their heads. Oh yeah, also they hosed down sections of the audience at times and there was a weird water sequence that resembled soft-core porn. Sound awesome? We saw at least one audience member that had to be carried out, and it’s hard to imagine how more people don’t get hurt on a nightly basis (incidentally, there were no safety warnings at all–if you are epileptic, you may be in danger just being in the same city where this show is playing).
But, seriously, what is it?
It’s kind of like Blue Man Group meets Cirque de Soleil… Just kidding, it’s nothing like that. Anyone that tells you that is just trying to see if they can trick you into going. It’s ~60 minutes long, and can be broken down into the following 5 parts:
1) Guy running on tread mill, occasionally being shot and occasionally jumping through boxes full of confetti
2) A couple of girls jumping around against a crazy wall from harnesses with strobe lights (this was actually pretty cool)
3) A bunch of people jumping around crazily for a very long time and breaking stuff; then smashing ceiling tiles over the heads of each other and audience members for another very long time.
4) A very see-through plastic pool lowered from the ceiling with scantily clad women running and jumping around in the water above the heads of the audience. This went on forever. Then it seemed to stop and people clapped. Then it started again and went on forever again. Jen thought this was kind of like soft-core porn as the girls were not wearing many clothes, the clothes they were wearing were largely transparent due to the water and the audience was encouraged to grope them through the bottom of the pool.
5) Back to the guy on the treadmill jumping through some more boxes. Then a bunch of people came out and bowed (apparently the ‘actors’?). We thought that meant it was over, but then they cranked the music again and started hosing down a section of the audience from above. We were near the doors, so we left. The rest of the audience was right behind us.
That’s about it. They were all pretty cool effects for the first few minutes, but most of them went on WAY longer than necessary and the level of intensity, threat of forced participation and general feeling that several people (including you) were highly likely to get hurt at any moment made it such that it wasn’t fun–if there was some sort of warm-up to get you energized and a higher level of trust that you wouldn’t have a table dropped on you, it might work. Unfortunately, it starts with crazy intensity right from the beginning, and I think unless you are expecting to be at a rave, it would be hard to really get into it (though, to be fair, some in the audience clearly seemed to have been better prepared than us).
Here in Buenos Aires, tickets were only ~US$15 each, so if you’re looking for something crazy, this is it. That said, I’d recommend just going to a dance club instead–far less likely that anyone will break anything over your head or attack you with a hose (unless that’s your thing).
Anyone else seen this? Did we miss something?