Fuerza Bruta (Look Up)
Daryl Roth Theatre, NYC
Fans of De La Guarda, Cirque du Soleil and the rave scene will find much to admire in this 70 minute production. With touches of Brazil’s Carnivale, the immersive experience draws on the vision of fellow Argentine creative directors Diqui James and Gaby Kerpel. The audience is shepherded into a dark space (in much the same way we were shepherded into a dark space on the outskirts of London a decade ago for De La Guarda, the duo’s prior production). We are warned that we will be standing and moved about during the show.
A huge treadmill bookends the show, with a fellow alternately dodging pedestrians and arranging patio furniture. The pace quickens (in a New York minute indeed), and soon he is crashing through walls and boxes. The DJ amps up the tempo and soon we are immersed in a Tiesto-like rave. Were it all outdoors, it might be like Saturday night at Coachella, but we are inside in a far more confined space. The pièce de resistance is the lowering of a massive clear acrylic ceiling, through which we watch four sea nymphs cavorting in a shallow pool of water. With a touch of Moulin Rouge, the quartet slosh and slither above our heads, soon only inches away as the ceiling is lowered. This sequence would have been far less seductive with male performers, but that is my prejudice.
The live DJ maintains the pulse of the show, which only slows down to a suitably mesmerizing and liquid pace during the water scene. The staff herds the audience to a safe position as the various props are wheeled in and out. Confetti and some interactive dancing with the cast is part of the equation.
This show is not for the faint of heart (strobe lights and gun shots are featured), and a limber neck is helpful (note the production’s subtitle). For an avant-garde night in Manhattan, this is quite the ticket.