Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tango Show

December 2, 2011  Day 4 
Last night we went to a dinner theatre tango show on Florida Street. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed during the performance. It rivaled a NY Broadway production. The musicians were outstanding. This show did not focus on the lewd moves often associated with tango. Don´t get me wrong, there was plenty of close body contact. The lifts and speed of the dancers was incredible. Somehow the women seemed to dance on air. There was a kind of ballroom quality in their presentation. Oh yes, there were speedy leg kicks and the dancers did invade each other´s space at times. These precision leg kicks required careful placement.
 Two men dressed as Gauchos gave a great series of dances, reminiscent of the days when men spent months on the Pampas, with no women and had to entertain themselves by dancing for each other after supper.  They were real athletes, acrobatic high speed: a tap dance in boots. But this show was a big time production and had a different look than the dances we saw performed two nights ago at the Café Tortoni.  There it was a smaller, intimate stage and the two dancers relied on flirtatious looks and sexy costumes in their choreography. Here a dozen highlytrained pros showed the many varieties of tango style.  The musicians, two
 violins, two bandolinos, a piano, a bass and two excellent singers, were all topnotch.  A wild, fun and fantastic evening.
I have always wondered how the tango made its way from the brothel to the ballroom. It took time. Initially, Argentine families of good
reputation wanted no part of this cheek to cheek dance. It took years to make its way to the middle and upper class family home. But overtime boys of these families would sneak off to the milangos looking for adventure. They learned to dance there and would then teach their sisters, cousins or female neighbors a purified version of the tango. Being a good dancer soon became a way to impress the ladies and I think that is probably still true.

The city of Buenos Aires was rebuilt between 1880 and 1930. The old Spanish city with narrow streets and one story buildings was
replaced with French architecture, wide boulevards and gorgeous parks. Argentina became one of the richest nations in the world. The wealthy families from Argentina would travel to Europe and some kept homes there. The tango was introduced to Parisian society. A tango dance craze then spread to London, Rome and New York.  Finally, the tango returned to Buenos Aires with the dancers dressed in a tuxedo. That was the version of the dance we saw last night and it was sophisticated, complicated and  interesting. Not only that, my tenderloin steak was fabulous. We got to bed at 1 AM. Our nights on the town are getting later and
later. We almost missed breakfast this morning!

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