Usher debuted new songs in an unconventional way Friday night: The singer danced to his new music as part of the off-Broadway play "Fuerza Bruta: Look Up."
"Fuerza Bruta" is the fast-paced and acrobatic play in which the audience stands as performers dance and jump around on the walls, onstage and on the floor with the crowd.
Usher worked as its lead "Running Man," beginning the show on a treadmill, bursting though paper-made walls as his No. 1 R&B tune "Climax" blasted in the background.
There was also a plastic pool suspended above the crowd, where dancers moved and splashed around to songs, including one slow groove with lyrics like: "It's raining inside your bed." Water hit the crowd throughout the night, which included members of the press and industry insiders at the invite-only event.
Usher debuted 12 songs Friday. He'll release his seventh album, "Looking for Myself," on June 12.
At one point the Daryl Roth Theatre turned into a pulsating nightclub as Usher's new pop anthems _ including the European-flavored "Scream" _ played as lights flickered, sirens blasted and confetti burst.
"Fuerza Bruta" means "brute force" in Spanish. The play was developed by Diqui James, the Argentine creator of the long-running "De La Guarda."
Usher will also perform two shows with the cast Saturday that will be open to the public.
Mesfin Fekadu covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/musicmesfin.