A scene from Fuerzabruta.
fuerzabruta f’where - zah - broo - tah (Spanish) brute force
On the walk home after seeing Fuerzabruta, the new immersive, sensory theatre experience from the creators of the long running Off Broadway theatrical event De La Guarda, I tried to get my head around the 60-minute explosive visceral event I had witnessed. I began analyzing its visuals to understand it, recognizing its similarities to categorize it, and theorizing its meaning to "get it."
And I was doing very well because by the time I got home Fuerzabruta had become Kafka-esqe in it’s repetition of images which grew and overwhelmed; with the absurdist elements of Ionesco’s The Chairs; choreographed movement was like synchronized swimming turned upside down; and concluded it’s meaning was the representation of the power of human determination in the face of ... brute force. I got it!
Flushed with hubris I began flipping through Fuerzabruta’s souvenir program and my eyes fell upon the words ...
"...since its creation no one knows the meaning of the work, because it doesn’t have one."
Dynamically original, kinetically powerful, and overwhelmingly unique, Fuerzabruta challenges audiences to let go of convention and meaning and move far outside their comfort zone, to resist the instinct to stay in the safe and familiar place. As the performance space is closed and the lights go dark, an omnipotent voice tells them they are participants in what is about to take place, that everything is real but there are no conventions, and that the space modifies itself during the work and to accompany it.
This is the point of departure and what follows is a bombardment of sensory stimuli, dazzling visual images, furious blasts of wind, driving hypnotic music, frenzied performances, and some pretty amazing state of the art technical wizardry to make it all happen. In fact the production is so complex that it takes two months to load it in the theatre and took two years to design and create from its inception in 2003. Since its premiere in Buenos Aires in 2005, Fuerzabruta has been on tour around the world including the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it won the Herald Angel Award for the "biggest and best show on the fringe."
The "scenes" in Fuerzabruta happen all around you, sometimes move across the room towards you, and in one instance even lands on top of you. But to say more than that about them or try to describe them runs the risk ruining ’the surprise," an element which makes a significant on the show. So much so that it is one of the guiding "concepts" behind Fuerzabruta.
"A surprise is not an effect. It is a constant and necessary state for the effectiveness of the work."
The best way to enjoy the show is with no preconceived ideas about it, unencumbered by physical things like bags or purses, and open to the moment and with wonder at the creation. Bringing some friends along with you and stopping for a few drinks on the way to loosen up wouldn’t be bad either. Fuerzabruta is a tour de force of imagination and energy and the more you’re part of it the more you will be.
As with De la Guarda, the producers are planning a "gay night’ for sometime during December. Keep checking back at the website below for updates and announcements.
Daryl Roth Theatre
101 East 15th Street at Union Square
Strictly limited engagement through February 17, 2008
Friday 8pm & 10:30pm
Saturday 7pm & 10pm
Call Telecharge 212.239.6200
or visit Telecharge.com
Groups of 12 or more
Regular Price: $70
Rush Tickets: $25
(a limited number of $25 tickets will be sold at the box office window,
two hours before show time)
Pfeil is a freelance journalist in New York City who has written for several publications including SOHO Journal and The New York Blade Newspaper and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. He is currently working on his first book.