In association with WA! Japan Production Committee
A long-running hit on Broadway, the spectacular Fuerza Bruta show is finally making its way to Tokyo this August, bringing plenty of surprise and suspense with it. Even if you’ve seen a Fuerza Bruta performance before, you’ll want to check out this Tokyo edition, titled ‘WA! – Wonder Japan Experience’. The latest brainchild of creator and artistic director Diqui James, it’s a brand-new extravaganza designed and produced specifically for Japan. Have we piqued your interest yet? Here are five things you can look forward to in August.
Five highlights of 'WA!'
As we chat with the show’s chief producer Kiyoshi Tatsumi, he tells us the audience will be treated to a series of all-new acts and unique twists on Fuerza Bruta’s signature stints. He explains: ‘[The show] looks at Japan from the perspective of an outsider – in a way similar to Tarantino's Kill Bill – which is something that Japanese audiences are sure to find interesting.’ Expect geisha dances, samurai and ninja performances as well as weighty stories including that of a group of struggling farmers breaking through into a bright future. Fuerza Bruta headman Diqui James came over to Japan multiple times over the past five years to gather inspiration for his show, touring areas including Kyoto and Nara together with Tatsumi.
Signature Fuerza Bruta elements
Although the programme is filled with new influences and jaw-dropping performances that defy gravity, the show also includes some of Fuerza Bruta’s signature acts: think a transparent pool and soaring aerial artistry. And the troupe’s usual running machine antics have been updated to include a samurai on the run, battling an impending group of enemies. ‘We’ve used the same techniques [as elsewhere] but with different performers to tell a different story,’ Tatsumi says, without giving too much away.
No ordinary stage
The stage on which ‘WA!’ unfolds isn’t your typical theatre set-up. The standing-only audience in the main area will be watching the show take place above their heads, while those sitting on the second-floor balcony will be looking down at the stage throughout. From the second level, you’re free to walk back and forth between the floor area and your seat, but you don’t want to waste too much time on the move during the 70-minute show. As Tatsumi suggests, ‘It might be good to see the show a few times, sitting in different areas, as it feels completely different depending on whether you’re sitting or standing.’
‘WA!’ will be a visually impressive dance-rave thrill ride that merges striking imagery with techno music and aerial showboating, plus plenty of audience participation. That means you’ll need to come prepared to dance, get wet and interact with the performers throughout. The highlight pool scene will see cast members floating right above the standing area, and you might even get splashed with a bit of water during their antics. Don’t be camera-shy either – you’re allowed to take photos and video at all times, so make sure your Instagram or Snapchat story is ready for all the action.
Diversity at its best
The performers taking part in this latest Tokyo showcase are from all over the world, with around half of the cast hailing from Japan. The show has no dialogue, but you won’t need any verbal communication to understand what’s going on. As Tatsumi explains: ‘Fuerza Bruta is about physical movement, music and technology coming together to create a story.’ That said, we can’t wait to see how it all plays out – it’s set to be an unforgettable summer party right here in Tokyo.