Fuerzabruta is a difficult show to categorise. Part circus, part interactive art gallery and part nightclub; this show subverts all expectations and creates a genre of its own. It returned to the Roundhouse at the start of 2013, and will once again return at the end of the year to amaze its audiences. Confronted by everything except a traditional performance, this show pushes the spectator outside of their comfort zone and questions all of the conventions of theatre. Audience members will find themselves standing up, moving around and looking in every direction to see the incredible acts.
At one point of the show you are spinning around to follow two performers running and tumbling around the high surrounding wall. In another, you are enclosed by a transparent pool that has been lowered from the ceiling and are shown beautiful live artworks created by human shapes, stunning lights and moving water. Then suddenly at the command of a DJ, you drop to the ground and wait to jump up and dance to electronic music. To put it simply: you have never seen a show quite like this one.
Putting these spectacles aside however, one of the most incredible aspects of Fuerzabruta is how it can feel so foreign and yet still be so universal.
The electronic and energetic music created by Gaby Kerpel has a vibrant South American twist that is accentuated by the larger-than-life percussionists. This is further enhanced by the radiant energy that exudes from the acrobatic performers and makes the venue feel like a raving festival in Buenos Aires. One of the acts even includes an extraordinary Murga dance that invites the whole audience to dance along. All of these elements unite together to evoke a rich South America quality. The show feels like it could not have been made anywhere else in the world.
However, even though Fuerzabruta is so grounded in Argentine culture, the show also transcends its Buenos Aires origin. It does this through its somewhat controversially abstract storyline. Some reviewers’ have criticised the apparent lack of a narrative, but it seems clear that Fuerzabruta has a story to tell. The scenes do not follow a certain character or even a specific idea. Instead, they stand on their own as unique and highly emotive expressions of the human spirit.
Sometimes these images can be interpreted as a celebration of love, such as a man and a woman dancing on either side a floating silver disk. At other times the message seems more dangerous, with the show’s iconic image of a man in white suit running for his life on a treadmill. Each scene brings a distinct new emotion for the audience to digest.
The themes grasped from watching Fuerzabruta will therefore change from person to person, audience to audience and country to country. This makes the show highly accessible because it does not require any specific cultural knowledge to understand. It lets the audience join the dots and hence the spectator’s own perspective is paramount in their interpretation. Fuerzabruta transcends location and is truly an international show.
Fuerzabruta will be performing in the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm from 23 December 2013 to 02 March 2014. Unique and exhilarating, this production is definitely worth seeing. And who knows, you may even discover a narrative of your own in this entertaining whirlwind.