There were times at the Vivancos “Aeternum” performance when I felt like I was at a rock concert. During other instances, it seemed like a ballet. Here and there, it also smacked of a classy male strip show. There were very few moments during the show, however, when I felt sure of what exactly I was watching.
The seven Spanish brothers who make up the Vivancos each graced the stage in tight pants and no shirts, exuding the manly overconfidence of Isaiah Mustafa in an Old Spice commercial. The flashing lights and fast-paced music seemed to fuel their ever-evident egos as they performed stunt after cheesy stunt.
The dancing was surely impressive, as each one of the brothers stomped out rapid-fire rhythms in perfect time, but the talent was often marred by poorly executed aerobatics and gimmicks.
Each brother seemed to posses a hidden talent other than dancing, and it seemed to be important that all of these artistic dalliances be incorporated into the show.
Whether it was unimpressive box drumming or playing the violin while in the splits, the Vivancos performed as if they were the world’s greatest gifts, pausing after each stunt, arms raised, waiting for applause.
Cheap tricks aside, parts of the show were impressive. One of the dances was done with the performers blindfolded and careening around the stage, spinning wooden sticks and miraculously avoiding a crash.
Cirque du Soleil choreographer Daniele Finzi Pasca was an artistic advisor on the show, and the innovative choreography helped make up for some of the show’s weaker moments.
Traditional flamenco dances were infused with a bit of masculinity and modern flavor, making each dance different from the last. Tap shoes smacked against every surface of the set, and Castinets worked in time with laser lights to create a unique spectacle.
As fascinated as the audience was by some of the Vivancos feats, surely no one in the theater was as impressed with the show as the Vivancos themselves.
The final performance was less of an actual act and, instead, consisted mostly of the brothers parading up and down the aisles flashing their bare, sweaty chests at swooning women.
But the Vivancos did not leave quietly, and following their “final” bow, returned on stage for one more stunt. As middle-aged women gasped, that the seven brothers took hold of a metal pole and swung themselves upside down for a final, unremarkable stunt.