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Brute Force
I've discovered that many things can kill you in New York City. Errant taxis. Bad hotdogs from food carts. Muggers in the subway.Open manhole covers. There's that air conditioner that fell on top of a guy drinking at a wine bar. But I never thought to be wary of live theater.

Master Thor took me to go see "Fuerzabruta", an Argentinian dance troupe. They're like like Cirque du Soleil when they first started. An exciting blend of motion and music. You know, before all those wacky Quebecian shows all started to look the same. You know what I mean: "Quidam... was that the one with the girl holding the balloon, or was that the one with the chinese acrobats?" I loved Cirque when it started, but I have to admit that the joke is growing stale.

Instead, Fuerza Bruta still has a raw dangerous edge to it. I have NO idea how the show got past the New York City fire department. Giant, heavy things swing precariously over the audience's head. I got hit in the face with a cardboard box. A manic DJ in a powdered wig sprayed everyone with a fire hose. Dancers leap out into the crowd and hit random people with boards. And all of this takes place in a tiny crowded completely-black room with no seats and too many people plus badly-marked exits.

Which means I loved the show. I *think* the actors intend to be delightful. But I found the hyperactive action to be menacing. A frantically running man dressed in a suit and tie gets shot, smearing blood on himself before collapsing. The chorus is screamed at you in a foreign language. Nightmare women chase each other running around the walls, which have turned into a silver sheet shipping back and forth. Lots of strobe lights and fog. Dancers slap their hands against plastic that is inches from your face, before trying to coerce you into joining them in a dance over a metal grate in the floor. Did I mention that it's pouring rain? INSIDE the building? But for some reason, you want to dance with the jumping, writhing crowd. The loud techno music they constantly play is jagged and angry.... here is sample:


What does it all mean? I have no idea. But it was one of the most exciting interesting things I have seen in New York City. And in such a weird, frenetic place... that's saying a lot.

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That sounds more like a bad dream than a show!

Glad you enjoyed it.

i want in on that. aggro music + interactivity + chaos = happy jeffy.

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When I went to New York I didn't find it to be all that more exciting or interesting than any other big city. But then maybe I just didn't know where to look or something.

Still it was nice to go there.

This Fuerza Bruta thing looks really neat. I hope they tour around.

Hmmm... Let's see, a building-size, see-through plastic ceiling/pool that's hydraulically lowered over the audiences' heads?

No, it won't be touring anytime soon. Come visit New York!

don't forget just plain old fashioned open manholes, the kind that tend to be covered in Elbow Grease....

Spectacular pure theater. And all just done with wind, paper, water, LOUD music, and light. And what a joy to share it with you.

Next time... "boy's night"! {grin}

Oh. My.

I really need to go to Argentina.

I TOtally LoVe ThaT Show!!!!! And I don't think it was the most hyperactive show I've seen either so brace yourself.

I remember a few years ago, when a couple of friends took me to the previous production from this group, "De La Guarda".

It was amazing!

In some ways similar to "Fuerza Bruta", "De La Guarda" was 90 minutes of non-stop surprises and fun audience involvement. I was delighted to go back and see it again the next night, and even when I knew more about what to expect, it was a blast the second time. Partly because I loosened up and let myself get drawn into the show, dancing a steamy dance with a woman in the vast who tried to shock me by taking off my shirt, only to find I was totally into it. I asked a handsome lad to dance, much to his embarrassment, but his girlfriend, thinking it was part of the show, goaded him into doing it. A few feet away, a couple of hunky college football players were turned into go-go boys when a woman from the show directed them to get up on pedestals and then pulled down their jeans, getting them to dance in their jockey shorts (which they seemed to quite enjoy). It was quite an adventure.

I observed from the two successive nights performances that even though the show is scripted and follows a general set routine, the actual experience is very different every night, because it really flows quite a bit from the way the audience interacts with the performers.

As you can tell, I'm a huge fan of the troupe that staged "De La Guarda" and now "Fuerza Bruta". I can't wait to experience the new production. Thanks for sharing the fun.

I saw De La Guarda with some friends back when it was in NYC, and we all loved it. You're right that if there was any type of emergency or mishap serious injuries and/or death would occur. But then again, what's life without some sort of risk!

I wish I could see "Fuerza Bruta". Hopefully I'll get back to NYC before it disappears.

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