• Mar 09,2018
  • In Review
  • By Protima Chatterjee

An electrifying performance-Germán Cornejo’s Tango After Dark-World Premiere,The Peacock, 28 February-17 March

Tango is as much an exploration as it’s a celebration of sensuality. Its full of sexual tension but also a balancing between our male and female sides. Its music and dance evoke elemental passion and high emotion while at a metaphysical level its as if souls are searching for a higher connection.
Tango after dark lives up to this reputation and to the high standards of previous German Cornejo productions of  “Flames of Desire” in 2015 and Tanguera in 2017.  Like before he serves up an intoxicating mix of eroticism and athleticism bathed in the blue and golden light of a Buenos Aires night.
With its ensemble cast of 10 superb dancers and 7 stage musicians does not disappoint. Compared to “Flames of desire” production which we saw in 2015, “Tango After Dark” is designed to be more spectacular.  It has the same heady mix of raw passion and unabashed display of physicality.
The dancing is fast paced with impossible flips and lunges. The angle of the leg flicks seems to defy the laws of physics. The male dancers   look introspective almost reluctant while the female dancers seem to be full of thwarted longing or hidden desires. With impeccable footwork they follow each other each posing a counterpoise to the other.
The show starts with a fast-paced tempo which is occasionally broken by vocalists Jesus Hidalgo and Antonella Cirillo.  The flickering tungsten lamps descending on the top of the stage, a live band playing Piazzola backstage and lightning athletic dancing bodies merging into each other is expected to give the audience a Buenos Aires feeling- a city which never sleeps at night. The dancing is acrobatic but some of the slower pieces with couples dancing” better capture the grace and melancholy of Tango . This particularly true of  “Verano Porteno” and the signature “Oblivion. In some of the others athleticism seems to have got the better of the inner poetry.
The male dancers are mostly formally dressed in jackets and trousers even though the jackets may be brocaded in some instances. The women wear long slit gowns and dresses  sensuously hugging their svelte bodies.
The lighting varies between a neon blue to tungsten yellow but successfully creates the night life ambience of  Buenos Aires.
 The music is of course Piazzola and  the live band led by Diego Ramos are given several opportunities not only to improvise but also to come to the limelight.  And they live up to the occasion serving up a delightful take on well known Tango numbers. The band also breaks the tedium of watching tango on the trot. They provide welcome breaks between the incredible dance numbers enabling the band to appreciate the dance even better
There’s a wide array of tunes used ranging from fast paced to slow languorous rhythms.
The show is a reminder of the spellbinding power that tango is capable of. It’s a breath taking display of tango at its best.  It’s a high tempo show where the energy never slackens.
Protima Chatterjee


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