“A Sensory Bath”
– NY Times
– Chicago Theater Beat
What is Fuerza Bruta? Part Cirque du Soleil, part Carnival, part Underground Rave, Fuerza Bruta is a highly interactive, one-hour long aerial and aquatic production. Based out of Argentina, this troupe has traveled from NYC to Miami to Chicago (Sorry Los Angeles!), to international cities like Tel Aviv, Berlin, Sao Paulo….and now Manila. Although not a uniquely Filipino experience, this show didn’t come to California, so I was eager to go.
The show took place in a tent in the parking lot of Manila Hotel. Built in 1909, it’s the oldest premier hotel in the Philippines and has hosted its fair share of celebrity guests, including Michael Jackson, The Beatles, JFK, and its famed resident, General Douglas MacArthur. And now, onto the fun!
With lounge chairs and cocktails abound, it feels more like a nightclub when you enter the tent. And that’s all done to set the tone for what lies ahead…
Guests are herded into a dark warehouse. With strobe lights and pumping house music, it’s starting to feel like an all out party. Then, the room turns pitch black and these truck lights appear and the real Fuerza Bruta experience begins.
This man in the white suit seems to be the central figure of the show. He starts out walking on a treadmill, which turns into a desperate run, and then a gun shot. He looks to the right, which cues the guests to look that direction too. And then…
Two girls loll around in a dreamy state on this foil wall. Then, they shriek and burst into an all out sprint.
Once again, the room turns dark, and this stage lowers.
A group of mermaid-esque girls swirl around the shallow pool. The stage dips and turns, causing them to tumble about. It’s all very alluring, especially when the stage lowers even more and guests are encouraged to reach up and interact with the actors.
Here’s a shot of the grand finale, where the actors returned to the treadmill, bursting into walls of boxes like this….and then, confetti, and LOTS of it! I was still picking confetti out of my hair long after the show.
After the show, we kept the party going by moving onto Breve, a Makati night club. By the way, LA nightlife pales in comparison to here in Manila, where things only start picking up past midnight!
It was a great night and such a delight to be thrown into the world of Fuerza Bruta!