Sarruga: Giant Bugs From Spain Invade Convention Center

Categories: Culture
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All photos by Liz Tracy.
At Sarruga, bugs went to battle.
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.

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An insectophobe's worst nightmare.
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.

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The ladies and gents behind the bugs' rage.
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.

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Should be named the preying mantis!
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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