Sarruga: Giant Bugs From Spain Invade Convention Center

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"

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

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