This May, the Peacock Theatre was taken over by German Cornejo’s Wild Tango in a show that overwhelmed the senses with Argentinian tradition, artistic innovation, colourful costumes, charismatic dancers and gravity-defying acrobatics. Whether you are a novice to tango or already a connoisseur and fan of German Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi, this show will find a way to delight you by creating an immersive experience of Argentinian culture and dance. This vibrant atmosphere and spirit on stage were only matched in energy by the enormous standing ovation received at the end of the show, to which the dancers had to come back to the stage and perform one last dance for the public.
The dance show started by introducing us to the origins of Tango, according to which men practiced among themselves before being ready to dance with women. The predominantly male duos of dancers offered a performance that blurred the gendered and heteronormative division between leaders and followers, and even then only three women would often dance between themselves or be the leaders when paired with a male partner. While the first act drew a lot from the typical sensuality of tango, with costumes of lace, leather and masks; the second half was a refreshing and surprising explosion of neon colours and modern experimentalism. Overall, the performances were a well-mixed cocktail of tango, urban dance, malambo, contemporary and circus that, combined together, definitely justified the “Wild” in “Wild Tango”.
Rising tango power couple and stars of the show German Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi were visibly thoroughly invested in this project, both as directors and performers. The dancers too were extremely magnetic, and their technique and engagement in the dances were even more remarkable than the choreographies themselves. The chemistry between everyone was palpable and has me looking forward to seeing the same dancers reunited in their next London-based show, Tango After Dark. The band was also a notable element of the performance, as the music was played live by a quartet of voice and guitar (Luciano Bassi), bandoneon (Matias Rubino), drums (Jeronimo Izarrualde) and piano (Ovidio Velazquez), which added to the immersive and spontaneous aspect of the night.
This Wild Tango was a great introduction to (or rediscovery of) tango for English audiences, all within the beautifully pleasant venue of Peacock theatre. The show truly transports you to another universe of rhythm and passion that makes it difficult to sit still while watching it. Tickets for upcoming shows can be found at https://www.sadlerswells.com
Wild Tango / Leo Mason photography
Reviewed by Céline Galletti- Celine is a volunteer writer for Abundant Art. Originally from France and Italy, she follows her passion for writing and art by studying Comparative Literature at UCL, London. As an international student living in London, she is determined to fully experience and understand the city’s vibrant arts scene, and be a part of its creative storm.