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A review by Bernie Whelan for EXTRA! EXTRA!

 

Andrew Kay & David Vigo present


Tango Fire: Flames of Desire


 

Choreography by Yanina Fajar

 

Peacock Theatre

 

12-23 April 2011

 

 

In this awe-inspiring display of athletic Tango, the audience is always conscious of being witness to a virtuoso performance by dancers who have studied and practiced the art from an early age, winning competitions and developing their dances to the highest level of technical brilliance in order to play a role in The Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires, which has toured the world to packed houses since 2005.

There are five couples who appear altogether on stage in spectacular group choreographies created by Yanina Fajar, assisted by German Cornejo. The individual couples choreograph their own solos as is traditional in Argentina. The whole performance is held together by Quatrotango, playing traditional arrangements by Gabriel Clenar on piano with the ineffable sound of longing from the Bandoneon (Hugo Satorre) alternating with the Violin (Marcelo Rebuffi) and Double Bass (Gerard Seaglione). Jesus Hidalgo came forward to sing richly romantic songs - he is another competition winner with tremendous control and polish.

Any fans of the TV showStrictly Come Dancing will adore every moment of this show for it's astonishing series of dances, each more difficult and complex than the last with muscular male dancers throwing and catching gymnastic partners into a series of Russian style lifts. The set (by Nathan Weyers) suggests a dance hall with lamp lit tables encircling the dancers in the first half, with little vignettes hinting at tempestuous characters beneath the glamorous sparkle and shine of Walter Delgado's costumes. However, all pretense of narrative remained in the first half, as the second featured the five couple's solo performances, eliciting gasps and cheers from the audience as one incredible dance followed another.

This show left me pondering the phrase 'it takes two to Tango'. Here we have not two, but ten expert Tango dancers, but something essential to the passion, drama and raw sexual energy of Tango's roots in the bordellos of Buenos Aires may have been lost en route to Sadlers Wells. Baz Luhrmann's 'El Tango de Roxanne' in Moulin Rouge featuring Caroline O'Connor has it, so you don't have to be Argentinian to capture it. The key to its power was a universal story of desire, betrayal and death told through the medium of Tango.

When an audience has got over their amazement at how these dancers manage to make those shapes with their bodies, there may be a feeling that this story has been left untold, which is a great shame as the music was beautiful enough to break hearts and the dancing was sublime.

 

 

 
Peacock Theatre
Portugal Street, Holborn, London WC2
Tue - Sat - 7.30pm: Sat Mats, 2.30pm: Sun, 4pm
Tickets: £15 - £42
Box Office:  0844 412 4322 
http://www.sadlerswells.com/show/Tango-Fire-2011
 



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