The Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires is in London this time of the year with it’s Flames of Desire, setting the stage ablaze. Much in time in the run up to Valentine’s day, the show celebrates passion, desire, romance and sensuality with the essence of male female bonding at it’s core.
Tango in its modern incarnation, as we see today in the Strictly Come Dancing series, is much to do with quick steps in ladies stilettos and sparkling pointed male shoes. Tango fire picks up and builds on the modern vocabulary of the tango. Its dancers storm across the floor in vigorous taps with occasional low leg flicks which are perfectly timed, precise leg movements , placing their free foot between the partner’s legs in the form of ‘quick kicks’, twirling female dancers finishing in the arms of their male counterparts at the end of a routine, frozen to a sculpted perfection. All this and more set Tango Fire a brand apart from any other company.
The show is evenly distributed between slower and faster numbers. The more laidback and stretchy softer sequences danced to a soulful Piazzola pulls at heartstrings. An undercurrent of melancholy runs through these numbers, connecting desire with a pang of separation and unrequited love. Along with the sensuous, a spiritual connection is established between the performers and the audience. The dance partners hold each other in close embraces like intertwined souls, occasionally caressing each other, hair brushing past the male partners’ faces. The ladies swing a free leg around their partners in sharp movements released swiftly, or gently stroking their partner’s leg before performing the mandatory pirouette into their partners arms.
The compositions are sophisticated, yet playful and flamboyant at times, showing much of Choreographer German Cornejo’s dexterity to play with the dance form. The five couples performing exhibit their finesse and mastery with the craft. Their effortless movements and intense attitude keep it oscillating between layers of erotic emotion. The performance has rhythm flowing not just through movement and music but also through live vocals and light design that focus much on the mood of the show. The lady dancers are dressed in sheer flowing costumes which add to their sensuous movements. The costumes in their mellowed shimmer with mostly body hugging fabric are exquisitely designed. They complement and reinforce the female shape.
As the title “Flames of desire” indicates it’s a show about romantic love, about the sensuous as well spiritual connection between man and woman. The audience needn’t delve deep to unravel the untold as it is all on the top layer. Flames of desire give you an easy and enjoyable evening, to which you don’t return with expectations of something massively different each time. It is enjoying the same pleasurable flavour each time you see the show.
Reviewed by Protima Chatterjee