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Dancers whip up frenzy of bravos; Last night's Review: Tango Pasion, Symphony Hall.

Byline: Richard Edmonds

This astonishing company of Argentinian tango dancers reached new heights on this latest visit to Symphony Hall.

Gorgeous women in black chiffon and diamonds (looking for all the world like the fabulous Vargas girls from the 1940s editions of Esquire) are the glittering, bird-like prey of impeccably-groomed men with hair like patent leather who grip them like panthers in an erotic beautifully choreographed frenzy which puts your hair on end. Latin tango music with its inimitable snatch rhythm whips up to top speed and the forestage at Symphony Hall was large enough for these spinning couples who used an extraordinary leg movement. The female whips her leg up between the legs of her partner. Had a slip occurred, it could have been acutely painful for the male dancer. But fortunately it was all carried off with exquisite panache which drew cheers all night.

The vocabulary of the tango with its dragging measures, its insinuating gliding movement and its spectacular climaxes, where you almost hear the dancers moan as they finish a movement mixes desire with dramatic passion emphasising this eternal battle between men and women with its exclusive and torrid undertone.

This was caught perfectly in the dancing of Juan Corvalan who hovered over his male (at one point) and female partners like Lorca's Angel of Death. Everyone was fine but this was a bewitching performance of gripping intensity from a master and it took your breath away.

The band was consistently marvellous with bandoneon (squeeze box) playing from musicians whose lovely talents, two of them playing violins a la Grapelli, belied their advanced years. A perfect background, I thought, for these wonderful tangueros who drove their audience, as Valentino reputedly did, into a frenzy of bravos.

Richard Edmonds
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 6, 2003
Words:292
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