October 4th, 2010


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.
  • Current Music
    Soundtrack "Fuerzabruta: Look Up"