Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Forever Tango"

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide

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entire contents copyright 1997 by Larry Stark


"Forever Tango"

Conceived by Luis Bravo
Musical Direction & Arrangements by Lisandro Adrover
Choreographed by the dancers

Sound Design by Michael Miller & Roberto Santocono
Lighting Design by Luis Bravo
Costume Design by Argemira Affonso
Stage Manager Jorge Gonzalez

Dance Teams:
Miriam Larici & Fabio Narvaez
Luis Castro & Claudio Mendoza
Carlos Gavito & Marcela Duran
Jorge Torres & Karina Piazza
Carlos Vera & Laura Marcarie
Guillermo Merlo & Cecilia Saia
Pedro Calveyra & Nora Robles

Lisandro Adrover...............................Bandoneon
Hector Del Curto...............................Bandoneon
Pablo Mainetti.................................Bandoneon
Miguel Varvello................................Bandoneon
Miguel Bertero....................................Violin
Berto Sarno.......................................Violin
Oscar Hasbun.......................................Viola
Patricio Villarejo.................................Cello
Silvio Acosta.......................................Bass
Fernando Marzan....................................Piano
Elisa Munoz.....................................Keyboard

Carlos Morel......................................Singer


In the days when courtship consisted largely of dancing paired in ballrooms, no doubt a couple's first tango together sealed the fate of their relationship for all time. It is a dance of intense physical intimacy demanding almost intuitive trust and open to infinite variations in intricate dexterity, grace, and style. And all this is true on a simplified amateur level. The seven couples performing Luis Bravo's "Forever Tango" at Ye Wilbur Theatre are lifetime professionals raising this dance to its artistic, balletic, gymnastic heights.

The plan of the evening, told entirely in dance and music, with only a few songs and a poetry recitation (all in Spanish), is to trace the history of this dance which crawled out of the bars and brothels of seacoast Argentina where Italian, French, Irish and German immigrants drowned their poverty and homesickness in cheap wine, impersonal lust, and occasional knife-fights. Banned by polite society, the new dance craze enflamed Paris in the '20s, became a vaudeville act like Flamenco, Adagio or Apache dance, and is seeing a revival in the intricate orchestral arrangements of Astrid Piazollo and this show's Music Director Lisandro Adrover.

For the tango's distinct flavor rests not only on its intricate "La Cumparsito" cadences, but on the reedy plaints and shouts of the bandoneon. This squeeze-box looks and sounds like a concertina pretending to be an accordion, or like a gigantic square slinky. In the hands of an expert the button fingerings alone get blindingly swift. The orchestra here includes four bandoneon virtuosi, headed by Adrover himself, a string quartet, piano, and synthesizer. Half a dozen orchestral pieces scattered throughout the evening demonstrate the wide range of possibilities brimming from this style.

That, after all, is the purpose of the show. These accomplished, dedicated professional musicians and dancers attain a dazzling "Don't try this at home" perfection. The smokey, heavy- lidded bravado, the dexterous tangle of swiftly scissoring legs, the statuesque pauses and intimate dips and sweeps serve as mere basics. The ladies get flung into contorted positions Olympic ice- skaters would never attempt, and after every turn you might easily expect a panel of judges to hold up their sixes and eights and many tens for difficulty and for imagination. The men all look like sleek-headed Italian bullfighters, the women like animated Erte figurines, the music is eternally irresistable, and the spectacle simply breathtaking.

Love,
===Anon.

"Forever Tango" (till 13 April)
YE WILBUR THEATRE
246 Tremont Street, BOSTON
1(617)931-2787

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide
| MARQUEE | CURTAIN | USHER | INTERMISSION |