Click here to view photos from Sarruga's performance this past weekend.
Imagine you spent your Saturday afternoon in a large, smoky, dark room that pulsed with trance music, dancing spotlights, and giant, mechanical bugs. No, it wasn't a Rabbit in the Moon show. It was the coolest place to bring a six-year-old on Miami Beach.
This past Saturday and Sunday, the Barcelona-based, street theater group Sarruga produced what can be best described as a rave for children at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Though the aesthetic was Burning Man, the execution was more BattleBots-does-nature.
Huge glowing bugs with angry faces and exhaling smoke roamed over the
heads of families, screaming gleefully. The enormous insects appeared
to be floating through the convention center's darkness, but the closer
the creatures came, the sillier the idea of floating bugs seemed. The
huge beasts were actually moving about with the help of people
operating bike-like contraptions.
As the bugs rushed around the room, charging each other, they parted
parents and kids as if they were the Red Sea. The machines acted out
narratives. There were quarreling ants, a hungry spider capturing an
unfortunate dragonfly in its net, even a queen ant birthing eggs (which
essentially defines gross).
The stories are part science, part dark life-truths. The dead dragonfly
was the first casualty, but not the last. A giant mantis loped off the
spider's head to the pleasure of the cheering, blood-thirsty crowd.
It was the coolest way a child (or grown woman) could possibly learn
that life is messy, scary, and fun. Also, the subject made for unique
text message conversations in locating lost ones: "by the spiderweb"
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and "by the queen's butt." It's not often that those words are typed
into a cellphone. Thanks Sarruga, for these odd privileges.
-- Liz Tracy