Fuerza Bruta

Theater , Circuses & magic Daryl Roth Theatre , Gramercy Wednesday June 1 2016 - Saturday December 31 2016
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Wayra Tour Luna Park Fuerza Bruta junio 2011 Foto: © María Aramburú MARIA ARAMBURU

Fuerza Bruta: Wayra. Daryl Roth Theatre (see Off Broadway). Conceived and directed by Diqui James. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 20mins. No intermission.

Wayra: In brief

Fuerza Bruta returns in the third installment of the De La Guarda trilogy. If it's anything like the first two, you can expect a visually impressive dance-rave thrill ride that merges striking imagery with techno music and aerial showboating.

Wayra: Theater review by David Cote

When the sensory-wraparound rave known as De La Guarda swung into town 16 years ago, it was the only show of its kind. Even in 2007, when environmental-kinesthetic mastermind Diqui James unveiled a sequel, Fuerza Bruta, there was no Sleep No More, Then She Fell or Queen of the Night. So has James tried to reinvent the wheel and beat the competition—say, by introducing narrative or literary allusions? Not a chance. Fuerza Bruta: Wayra is of a piece with its predecessors, still offering unique thrills for a remarkably young and diverse audience that, I’m guessing, doesn’t get to Playwrights Horizons very much.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. As a palate cleanser for theatergoers tired of living rooms and family secrets, Wayra is a bona fide thrill ride. Immersive theater may be more common now, but no one blasts through boundaries like these guys.

As usual, James’s nonverbal episodic spectacle (with an eclectic score by Gaby Kerpel that glides from techno and drum ’n’ bass to world) is a direct challenge to we poor critics’ powers of description. The crowd enters the cavernous Daryl Roth Theatre, where we are raked with colored lights and encouraged to shake our booty to the ambient music. The actual show begins with a white-suited man (familiar if you saw Fuerza Bruta) running on an accelerating treadmill, dodging furniture and other performers, until he’s shot in the chest. Perhaps the rest of the show is his dying dream?

The following 70 minutes include the customary flying stunts and, best of all, a return of the clear-bottomed pool that descends to within touching distance, allowing us to gaze at women swimming in shallow water, belly flopping upon the clear plastic to create percussive slaps. Eventually, a huge grid-covered balloon is stretched over the audience, with performers peering down at us through holes.

What it all means is anyone’s guess. Images of humans tethered to the grid far above suggest our status as cosmic marionettes. And the women swimming in the pool? Mermaids? Water angels? That visual trope of performers dropping out of the sky, grabbing a spectator and hoisting them up to the heavens—a manifestation of flying, or a visitation from death? Perhaps best to switch off the analytic apparatus and just enjoy the physical thrills—of which there are plenty.

THE BOTTOM LINE If you want to lose yourself in environmental eye candy, this is the place.

Follow David Cote on Twitter: @davidcote

Venue name: Daryl Roth Theatre
Address: 101 E 15th St
New York

Cross street: at Union Sq East
Transport: Subway: L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 to 14th St–Union Sq
Price: $99
Event phone: 212-239-6200
Event website: http://fuerzabrutanyc.com

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

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Dennis R

Fuerza Bruta was great!! It's not your typical show. You're in a room and please wear comfortable shoes because you stand the entire show and looking up.  The aerial acts and performers are great and once the show is over, they play music and there is dance party.  Lots of fun and great for a first date.

Tyler L

Fuerza Bruta was recommended to me by a family member. I was definitely impressed by the physical abilities of the cast. But at times I felt like I was trapped in a dark room of strangers that were just, if not more, confused as I was.

It's part party/part theatrical roller coaster/part WTF. If you're looking to enjoy a proper Broadway production, this is definitely not for you. Going in with an open-mind is definitely key in appreciating the art that these folks have created. 

Pros: Super interactive. Good for large groups. 

Cons: No seating. Sound system may cause partial deafness. Not for kids.