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High-octane show hits Shanghai
By Nie Xin

A new, high-energy show kicked off its 2014 China tour last Friday at Shanghai’s Xuhui Riverside Greenland, the first of 50 local performances that will run into July.

The Broadway-style show combines elements of theater arts, water dance, music and action arts. Actors use wires to achieve difficult stunts that involve running, jumping, flipping ...

There will be 300 shows in China this year, covering nine big mainland cities.

“The show was amazing, so cool, and it did surprise me,” says Mathew Dong, 27, a beauty columnist based in Shanghai.

Dong went to the theater the day after the debut in Shanghai, drawn by photos posted on social networks by his friends.

“It’s hard to describe the show to people who have not watched or felt the scene before,” says Zhou Kewei, founder and chairman of 3C Creative Group, the company that imported the show to China. “The good market response came from public praise.”

The show, called “Fuerza Bruta,” was performed in Beijing last year and reportedly got an enthusiastic audience response. The actors even danced on the Great Wall.

The name “Fuerza Bruta” means brute force in Spanish, says Diqui James, the Argentine director and producer of the show. With the slogan of “brutally happy,” the director says the show is a dream to all. “All the actors are in this big dream, a dream with the atmosphere of festival, a feast of emotion and vision,” James says. “Audiences are part of the show. I hope to bring a different experience to them, like a trip.”

The show features avant-grade, high-action aesthetics, imparting a deep power to audiences.

“People have different feelings about the show, and for many of them it releases pressure and oppression of busy work and intensive lives,” Zhou says.

The show begins with a tired man in formal suit and tie, walking slowly and dejectedly.

The energy is then quickly turned up, as four young female dancers perform in water and the stage moves down from the ceiling, getting closer and closer to the audience. On another floating stage, performers dance, scream and throw huge paper boxes. Gradually they dance into the crowd, with the audience joining them.

“When I saw the four female dancers dancing in the water stage which was over our head, it was so exciting, such a fresh angle, I was thinking how wonderful it would have been if I could have joined them and danced in water as well,” says Wu Xiang, a reporter from Shanghai Television Magazine who watched the rehearsal of the show before it debuted.

The show, having first played in Buenos Aires in May 2005, soon toured around the world with performances in South America, North America and Europe. The inspiration came from improvisational street performances and bar shows, the director says.

It has been watched by more than 4 million people around the world.

Grammy award winner Usher shot the music video of his hit song “Scream” at the scene of “Fuerza Bruta.”

“It takes you on this incredible, wild trip,” he said.

“Argentina and China have different cultures,” says James, the director, “We South American people kiss each other in the face when we say hi. However, the enthusiastic responses of Chinese audiences surprised me. Art is the universal language.”

“My musician friend (well-known Chinese music producer San Bao) recommended this miraculous show to me about two years ago, and I made the decision to import it immediately after I watched a video of the show on the Internet,” Zhou says.

Like the rest of those in the Chinese audiences, Zhou entered the theater in Beijing for the first time.

“It’s closer to audiences than those orchestra concerts or theater dramas but has more art value than some local performances,” he says.

The 3C Creative Group started its strategy of cultural investment in 2012. Before that Zhou had been very successful in fashion and the home decoration industry after majoring in fashion design in university.

Appointed as the vice secretary of China City Culture Industry Development Association, he has strategies and big plan in performance importing and exporting.

“Fuerza Bruta” is just a start.

“The 3C refers to Creative, Crossover and China, targeting a creative industry chain, cross those industries like design, real estate and performance by creation, building a bridge between creative industry and commercial markets,” adds Zhou.

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