Meet Diqui James, the mastermind behind Fuerza Bruta: WA! Wonder Japan Experience

Kaila Imada
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Kaila Imada
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In association with WA! Japan Production Committee

We chat to Diqui James, the Argentinian creator and artistic director of Fuerza Bruta, to get the inside scoop on his new show created just for Japan

How has it been working in Japan and creating a brand-new show for the local audience?

It's been great, it has really been a big journey for me. I’ve always been fascinated with Japan since I was a little kid listening to stories from my grandparents' travels in Japan. They would always talk about a glass bottom boat with fish underneath, puppets and geishas. Since then I’ve always had these ideas about Japan.

Before the show, I came to Japan many times to visit many different places and cities as well as looking at shows and books for inspiration. The show idea is talking about our fantasies about Japan. Thoughts about what is a geisha, what is a samurai. We are not trying to make a history book. We want to show our fantasy about Japan.

For Japanese people I want the show to be a physical experience – a little different from how they live every day. In South America, we are very physical and express ourselves with a lot of touching, embracing and kissing. Here, the Japanese audience is very polite. The show really moves them to a different place where you would do crazy things. I’d like to bring that experience into the audience.

When did you first start conceptualising your ideas for this show?

About 10 years ago I started organising ideas for the show in my own crazy way while still keeping elements of Japanese culture. It was the best project you could ever ask me to do. It took a long time to put things together but the collaboration was very fluid. The audience will be able to find elements of Japan while watching the show.

What elements from your previous Fuerza Bruta shows did you keep in this particular showcase?

We chose elements that fit perfectly – it was a great excuse to do new stuff. We just created new scenery, new machines and new sets. The language is very different. For instance, the running samurai expresses a lot but the concept is the same [as the running man, a staple of Fuerza Bruta's other shows].

Each performer has so much strength. How much training and preparation does each performer go through for this show?

The performers have to be ready and fit long before the show. Rehearsals and also a lot of training. But most importantly they have to be healthy and fit. At the same time they are doing something so crazy [during the show] so their minds have to be really focused. They are all artists.

What can your fans and the audience expect? Any tips for people attending the show for the first time?

Attending the show for the first time is the perfect case scenario. I love to bring people who know nothing about it. Nowadays, everyone can check things out online, but tell your friends not to look for it online, don’t tell them anything. Just relax and come enjoy the show. Don’t put your brain into it, just relax and enjoy.

 

Ready to book your seat at Fuerza Bruta's Tokyo show? Get your September tickets here while tickets can be bought here

For more information on the show visit here.

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