Location: Daryl Roth Theater- 101 E 15th St
New York, NY 10003
My Show Time: 7pm
I may be getting old.
Wow, this is powerful.
I may be overthinking this.
I’m a little confused.
I’m very confused.
These were the thoughts that raced through my mind as I stood there in the show Fuerza Bruta. Yes, I said stood. Stood…along with 100 other people. I may be exaggerating. It may have only been 60 people, but as a person who gets anxious in a crowd, it felt like 100 people. And it was all types of people: older people, middle aged people, teens, and a few older children. The point is there were no seats. But what there was…., was a lot going on. There was drumming, there was dancing, there were strobe lights, there was a D.J., there was water, there was wind.
I’ve never been a “club-type” person so the call to jump up and down was not one that I felt the need to answer; not in my teenage years, and definitely not now. Though, I must admit, the rhythm of the drums did evoke me to shake my groove thang a little bit.
But back to the “a lot going on”.
There was a man running on a conveyer belt, which at first just seemed like a pretty cool scene until he gets shot and the “blood” runs down his shirt only for him to reveal a clean shirt under the stained shirt. At this point I can’t help but to notice that he’s a black man and the suspension device used to ensure that he doesn’t fall off the conveyor belt, now reminds me of a noose. So now I’m wondering if this show is about the struggles of being a minority in this society. Am I overthinking this? I wonder. But then the man begins to run and break through props that remind me of the many barriers that black men have to encounter and overcome on a daily basis. And I think, surely this is what this is all about! This is deep!!
Then comes the extremely thick plexi glass ceiling that is durable enough to support gallons of water and the 4 women who are belly flopping and sliding like penguins over our heads. And I think, “huh?” What does this have to do with the struggle? Perhaps I have overthought this (side-eye).
No, I can’t be overthinking this because now there’s a segment with women who seem to symbolize a liberation movement, as they shed half of their business attire to break out into some serious drumming. (I’m moved to dancing again. The drums always get me!)
Then the ceiling lowers once again and the “penguin sliding” resumes, and the audience is encouraged to reach up and touch the ceiling as it gets closer and closer to the crowd (A claustrophobic person’s worse nightmare).
And I’m confused again.
But the crowd around me is shouting and jumping and I’m wondering perhaps I’m missing something. Perhaps I too should have purchased an alcoholic beverage that is available for sale in the lobby. Perhaps the secret to the point of the show is found at the bottom of the cup.
By the time the show is over I’m left trying to read the looks on the faces of the guest that I invited, hoping they don’t beat me up for wasting an hour of their life. But they smile and say, “It was fun. It was interesting. It was good. It was different. I liked it.” I just smile in return and wish that I could have an opportunity to talk, just briefly, with the creators of this show to ask “What the…?”
But the show has been around since 2003, when it originated in Buenos Aires, and it has been running in New York at the Daryl Roth Theater since 2007, so there is definitely a crowd out there who thinks dancing and tapping into a deep level of consciousness, all while getting misted with water, slapped by confetti, and hit by gusts of wind from giant fans is an amazing experience.
So, why did I go see it in the first place, you ask, because there were definitely many opportunities for me to have seen what the show was all about before stepping foot in the theater. Yes, this is certainly true. However, the tickets were a gift to me and although I read about it, I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. You never fully know some things until you try it. Well, I came, I saw, I conquered, and I scratched my head in confusion.
There’s something out there for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for me, but it may be for you.
Talk to you soon,
Share with me: Have you seen Fuerza Bruta? What were your thoughts? Do you plan to see it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.