Sarruga Hits Miami

Arts / Article

By Gary Farmer, Cultural Affairs Program Manager

Another one of my dreams came true: we finally got to present Sarruga, the phenomenal Barcelona street theater team we’d tried to bring for the first Sleepless Night in 2007. Fresh from its U.S. premiere in Chicago’s Millennium Park, Sarruga came to town for a series of free workshops and performances of “INSECTS” in the Miami Beach Convention Center July 22 – 25.  A guy I know told me that when he saw the hordes of families hurrying through the Convention Center doors, he worried about what he was getting into. “I really didn’t know what to expect,” he said, “and when I got inside it was amazing, this wild techno thing going on and all the kids running back and forth to follow the action – it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.  It made me think of when I was a kid my parents took me to the Nutcracker, which I’m sure was great, but I would much rather have been chasing giant glowing insects.”

Sarruga’s take on theater is unduplicated in the U.S., and occupies a revered niche in the European street theater world.  Founder Pakito Gutierrez’s stubbornly low-tech aesthetic manages to create thrills that far surpass today’s commonplace digital effects.  Audiences understood it immediately: 3,000 faces, big and little, shared the same wide-eyed, surprised smiles.  It was the coolest thing ever.  Hard to believe that this was Sarruga’s first U.S. visit and first ever indoor performance.