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Fuerza Bruta: Look Up Is A Thrilling 360 Degree Experience

by Rich and Laura Lynch

In English the phrase Fuerza Bruta means brute force and the surround-sound production of Fuerza Bruta at the Daryl Roth Theater was forceful. It was a show filled with motion, sights and sounds. The venue is located at 101 East 15th Street at Union Square in New York City. attended an evening performance of Fuerza Bruta on August 25, 2012.

Fuerza Bruta: Look Up

In reality, the production that originated in Argentina in 2005 and has since toured the world, is part rave, part theater, part circus and part wetdown.

As we entered the theater we noticed that there was no traditional stage as all the action took place above, among and around the audience. The crowd remained standing throughout the production and was moved around multiple times to make room for raised platforms and shifting scenery.

The set design and show that surrounded the audience was composed of acrobatics, dance and music with aerial and visual displays. The loose plot of the play involved a man in a suit who appeared to be running from or perhaps chasing something. This point was not really clear or important as the core of the production was emotion and energy.

Fuerza Bruta: Look Up
The multi-cast production begins with the outline of a solitary man.

Fuerza Bruta is a full-on 360 degree experience where the audience becomes part of the play. The show is recommended for teens and above as the surplus of sensations and the shooting of the central character may be overwhelming for youngsters.

Walking into the big open space of the venue we were bombarded by fog, lights and beat-heavy music. The theater had the feel of a dance club. Although we had read in advance that the man in the suit is shot several times the sound of the shooting still startled us. It was the first of a range of emotions that would later include enchantment.

We presumed that the man was dead as in one sequence he is trying to hold on to objects that keep slipping through his hands. Possibly there was a message here to let go and live in the moment or you can't take it with you when you go.

An array of scenes unfolded including a dance number where the performers invited some of the crowd onto their elevated platform and later they mingled with the masses. The production was propelled by pulsing dance music and dreamy sequences that did not really tell a story but were snippets of life.

Fuerza Bruta: Look Up
An elevated and floating pool is a highlight of the performance.

There was a high level of energy throughout the show and the changing sets forced us to shift. We became participants and observed the action from different perspectives. At times, the DJ in his lofty booth would spray folks with a hose so if you want to avoid getting wet at Fuerza Bruta you might want to hang closer to the walls if you can.

The most enchanting effect of the evening was the Plexiglas swimming pool. The pool was overhead and we watched the performers slide, swim and sometimes slam across the Plexiglas. At this point, the music was more playful before returning to the dance beats that dominated much of the show.

As a heavy dose of rain poured down on those lucky enough or not to be in the center of the mass the "look up" spectacle circled back to the way it started. Stunning strobes and wind tunnel fans created a fearsome fantasy as the DJ prompted people to clap and dance before bringing this forceful and unique experience to a close.

Fuerza Bruta: Look Up
The Daryl Roth Theater near Union Square is a majestic venue perfect for Fuerza Bruta!

Related Links: For more information on FUERZA BRUTA and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Fuerza Bruta | Daryl Roth Theatre

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