Fuerza Bruta has performed in 60 cities across 30 countries, and has dazzled more than five million people around the world. The 70-minute extravaganza, presented in Japan by Panasonic and dubbed WA!! Wonder Japan Experience – Fuerza Bruta, has been tweaked for Japanese audiences and is currently playing at Stellar Ball at Shinagawa Prince Hotel until May 2018. We headed over to see what the fuss is all about, and chatted with cast member Yohei Iwai to find out more about this stage phenomenon.
How would you describe Fuerza Bruta to someone who hasn’t heard of it?
It’s about bringing imagination alive using sound, light, wind, water, and film. This show is a completely new experience – it’s an energetic and dynamic 360 degree performance. There are acrobats hanging from the ceiling, dancers running across walls, and even swimmers inside a gigantic suspended pool. It’s hard to explain but basically, if you want to feel something that you never felt before, come to our show and you will feel it.
What is your favorite part of the show?
I love all the scenes, but the most interesting for me is the last one called Japan United. Fuerza Bruta has evolved over years and years, and that scene is symbolic of its journey. You’ll see a samurai running towards the future. On the way, he is reunited with friends, released from loneliness, and he realizes the importance of human connection. The message you take from our show varies from person to person, but I feel that this scene in particular is about the journey of our show.
How is the Japanese show different to international editions?
WA!! Wonder Japan Experience – Fuerza Bruta is inspired by Japan, and is itself a brand new show filled with themes of Japan from beginning till the end.
Usually, photography isn’t permitted at live variety shows. Why has this been overruled at Fuerza Bruta?
Fuerza Bruta is about free expression. We want all the audience to enjoy the show freely, so we allow everyone to take photos and videos.
What has feedback like been from fans in Tokyo?
We’ve been told that the technology is great, but the energy of the performers is especially amazing. The Japanese audience are traditionally pretty shy, but the ones who come to our show do dance, and do scream. They leave with big smiles and the feedback has been hugely positive.
What else are you up to in 2018 besides Fuerza Bruta?
There are many big things happening in the coming years, such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I think our country is changing and I will be evolving both on stage and personally to keep up with dynamics of our great city. Fuerza Bruta has been extended until May 2018 and I have many other projects in the pipeline after that.
The Weekender Verdict
Well, this really was a show like no other – a crazy mix of live music, theater, circus and a musical. Throughout the 70-minute show, performers are dancing, swinging, swimming and jumping above and around you, which is a feast for the eyes and smartphone cameras. While the storyline is somewhat confusing, it can’t be disputed that this is one of the most entertaining shows in Tokyo and we thoroughly recommend it. The experience is interactive and at various points lucky audience members are hoisted into the air with acrobats or have white confetti bombs blasted over them on moving podiums. At the end everyone is invited to dance along and it felt like a bit of an indoor carnival (but with quieter Japanese people). The show highlight? A huge transparent rectangular paddling pool lowered to arms’ reach, with swimsuit clad ladies inside, splashing and sliding. Fuerza Bruta is a hard one to describe in words, so we asked resident photographer Tim Kershaw to snap up the fun…
Our favorite moments in pictures: