This review was originally written for The Public Reviews.
Fuerzabruta has been touring the world since it originated in Buenos Aires in 2005, and it is much the same show returning to London after a sell out run last year.
A man is seen running furiously on a treadmill in the center of the auditorium while dodging a number of obstacles and smashing into walls thrown at him. This is the only attempt in the show at inferring some meaning to a scene with a half baked commentary on modern life. But to find meaning in this show is perhaps missing the point and the action swiftly moves on to a dream sequence with dancers suspended in mid air, chasing one another along a wall of rippled curtains enveloping the crowd.
The audience is free to roam the space as various theatrical contraptions appear from all directions. Next, everyone will be staring upwards through a giant transparent pool suspended within an arm’s
length over the audience’s head with seductively dressed dancers splashing around in the pool. While it is primarily a sexy and stunning spectacle, there is a sense of innocence in some childlike playfulness, which is only natural when splashing around in water, playing with waves and ripples. The relentless series of set pieces continue apace for eighty minutes all set against the background of electronic music with a heavy bassline, smoke machine and liberal use of strobe lighting.
This is a show of pure sensual pleasure and may seem vacuous as it does not attempt to force a narrative. There is a strong reliance on lighting and trance music as the performers are more akin to dancers in harnesses than true acrobats. It is not only a visual and aural feast, the sense of touch also comes into play as giant fans and water sprays are directed towards the crowd, and it is liberating to be part of it. Some of the production design is certainly ambitious in scale and in what it aims to achieve, and the results more than justify the effort.
It has to be declared that this is my second visit while my first was back in 2007 in Edinburgh. If it doesn’t have quite the same impact on second viewing, there are still plenty of exhilarating scenes which impress. Whilst it continues to do well in audience attendance, there may not be much reason to change this successful formula. But before long, the show may need to develop some new material if it is to carry on for another ten years.
Photo: David Levene