From Buenos Aires

Date: 12 October 2004 Venue: Vogue Theatre

Reviewer: June Heywood





Guillermo Galvé

"The tango is a direct expression of something that poets have often tried to state in words: the belief that a fight may be a celebration."
Jorge Luis Borges

The young and not so young members that make up the Tango Pasión troupe - conceived and produced by Mel Howard - have delighted audiences with their ever-evolving show for the past twelve years. On opening night at the Vogue Theatre, the seven pairs of dancers, singers - Guillermo Galve and Roxana Fontan - and the band, Sexteto Mayor - led by Jose Libertella and Luis Stazo - expressed firey passion with their body language, voices, and instruments.

Wardrobe mistress Emmylou Latour created the women's costumes to cling, swirl, and reveal. In the first half of the program, the garments were multicolored. After the intermission, all were black. No two costumes were alike. The men's costumes also were varied. At times they wore three-piece suits with black bow ties. In one popular number they dressed as gouchos with black pants, white shirts, suspenders, ties, and hats.

Hector Zaraspe's choreography was electrifying. The complicated footwork and beguiling body language wove theatrical stories as the dancers moved to the tango.
Former dancer and artist Ricardo Carpani inspired the sets and influenced the storylines of the more than thirty vignettes. These ran the gamut of feelings from coquettish flirtation, jealousy, rage, jilting, high romance, and blatant sexual attraction. At times, the dancers expressed rage, anger, and lust.





But the audience enjoyed the humorous numbers most as when the men used walking canes in a synchronized game of pool. Or when Señora Fontan danced as though she were more than tipsy on champagne (her feet tapping a fast and crazy rhythm) before she needed to be held more or less upright by a male dancer who all but carried her off the stage.
Graciela Garcia & Osvaldo Ciliento

Her singing and dancing partner, Guillermo Galve played the role of the night club owner. As he sung a solo two male dancers tried to "get fresh" with the cigarette girl. The vignette, both suggestive and funny, was made more so by the singer's accompanying actions. The Ms Fontan joined Mr. Galve in a sultry song and dance as the violins and accordions were evident in the background.

Sexteto Mayor was created in 1973 by accordion players Jose Libertella and Luis Stazo. This multi-award winning band has played the tango in more than 500 cities around the world. On opening night at the Vogue, their instrumental numbers - "Lluvia de estrellas" and "Onda neuve" were given the largest rounds of applause and catcalls of appreciation. Although in their twilight years these gentlemen had energy to spare at the end of the two-hour performance, as did the dancers who barely showed a bead of sweat throughout the evening.

When the performance ended, the audience was still eager for more. After two long standing ovations, the curtains came down and the theatre emptied. Outside on the street people lingered to talk in glowing terms about the show saying they'd tell their friends about this tasteful yet sexy event.

© 2004 June Heywood