Point of View

Building a One-of-a-Kind Spectacle
June 8, 2009, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Fuerza Bruta

Fuerza Bruta: This is show with no seats, 360° of action, women in a 500-gallon pool of water suspended only inches above the audience, and a man bolting at top speed through a series of progressing walls in mid-air. Dubbed a “Phenomenon” by the international press, Fuerza Bruta is actually more than a show—it’s an experience and a thrill that goes beyond the 65-minute spectacle on stage. It’s an event unlike anything Miami has ever seen.

In preparation for this tour-de-force, the Adrienne Arsht Center stage hands, technical staff, and engineers have charged the Lynn Wolfson stage with an electric buzz that resonates throughout the Ziff Ballet Opera House and extends into the loading dock. Electricians and carpenters congregate together as prop providers and sound-testers hurry around them, while cranes with lighting and a Mylar wall are rigged above, everyone wary of dropping scaffolds and wires. The process of preparing for Fuerza Bruta is special.


When on site, observing the set-up, standing still is not an option. Watching the pieces of the stage start to fit together is watching the coming to life of an avant-garde vision. “We are trying to create a whole new, exciting experience,” says Jeremy Shubrook, Assistant Technical Director at the Center. Shubrook explains that although the show has been put on in numerous other locations, it was typically on a smaller stage with far less pre- and post-show activity. Shubrook assures that even if you have seen the show, nothing can fully prepare you for this experience.

For the first time in the Center’s history, attendees will enter the theatre through the loading docks. Truly a behind-the-scenes experience, the purpose of this entrance is to fully immerse the audience into actually becoming part of the show. Paintings, photos, and sculptures from area galleries and local artists are also being brought in to complement the area. “The loading dock provides flavor; the lounge provides the beginning of the experience,” says Shubrook. Although the area will be transformed to some degree, the feel of being backstage will remain prevalent.

To add to the excitement, the Ziff Ballet Opera House’s massive stage is also accommodating the G-Lounge by Barton G. Complete with a specialized menu, it serves as a clever way to anticipate and maintain the high-octane vibe of Fuerza Bruta. The Center is bringing in Miami’s hottest club DJs, including Mansion’s and SET’s, and the Y-100 crew in addition to a new resident DJ to spice up each night. Actually using more equipment than the performance itself, the lounge plays an important role in infusing attendees with the right mood.

“The lounge and loading area are reasons to come early and stay late,” says Daniel Alzuri, Adrienne Arsht Center Technical Director, as he directs the many scrambling workers throughout the half-transformed stage. “However, the stage here has never been used like this before- where we have multiple productions running at once,” Alzuri adds. This is only one of the many challenges Alzuri must meet in preparing for this one-of-a-kind spectacle.


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