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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Fuerza Bruta Triumphs

Suddenly all went dark during a theater class last week and the ventilators exploded with light and torrents of rushing smoke. The ceiling came crashing down on a audience member. She and others stood still in the debris, and then began to dance.

Then shots fired from somewhere in the darkness and a running man twisted in midair and fell to the ground.

Though blood was coming through his suit, the stricken man rose to his feet and dashed through the crowd. With accelerating speed he launched himself through a wall and kept running.

High above, wet radiant nymphs appeared swimming through glistening darkness. Slowly they descended, swooping down on the class in a playful swarm. Through liquid air their flowing bodies seductively slid over a sea of hands that reached up to touch them.

This is not a typical class at Stony Brook Manhattan. Students met at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Union Square for that night’s performance of Diqui James’ Fuerza Bruta.

The Daryl Roth Theatre,   an off-Broadway theater, ushers its audience onto its open floor.

Out of the vast dark space scenes  erupt from anywhere and manifest in any form, and the audience is free to move about the action.

Scenes are symbolic, hallucinatory depictions of chaotic modern living and sexual fantasy all choreographed to electronic dance music composed by Gaby Kerpel.

Dancers vivaciously leap, stomp and spin with the creative set use of platforms, conveyer belts, aerial suspension, water, smoke and strobe lighting.

Spectacular metaphorical displays of contemporary pressures and dangers such as disorder, deadlines, fleeting time, claustrophobia, towering obstacles, high-speed impact are purposely juxtaposed and mixed with graceful dreamlike expanse and serenity.

The audience sees representations of people  worked to exhaustion to maintain the disarrayed world as it falls apart around them, left with little time to rest before their dreams are rented away from them and they are forced to meet the same hellish cycle again. As people fight their way through the day they crash through scenery that obstructs their way.

When it is time for fun they tear down the walls around them. Vitality and violence pervade everything to the point of being synonymous. Even the calmer fantasy scenes become suspicious. Sensuous dreams entice and enchant, but do they belong to the dreamer or does the dreamer belong to them, like advertisement?

Fuerza Bruta triumphs as an expression of human life in an unrelenting struggle to survive oppressive and absurd conditions—and to have fun doing it.

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