The legend slips in sweat and scent,
Leave the tango alone – for itself is a legend of its own Tango Por Dos of Argentina performed Tango Una Leyenda ( Tango: The Legend ) at Kwai Tsing Theatre at November 19th & 20 th . A closing event of all dance performance form this year’s Latin Passion Festival, it’s no doubt a lustrous treat for Tango lovers. In the performance, passionate response from audience was mainly rooted from exquisite technique and artistic virtuosity of dancers and musicians. While this repertory tried to connect evolution of tango with timeline of Argentina ‘s political history, it seems doesn’t matter after all.Miguel Angel Zotto, the leader of the Tango Por Dos, was the king in the whole performance. His presence on stage was as captivating as a star descending. He controlled the whole stage, of course including his dance partners. You can found every single bit of his soul was “singing” through his superb expression of tango.
As a major style of social dance, Tango is achieved by two individuals, in most cases, a man and a woman. With its sensual music and rhythm, tango is a sort of control game. A classic form to start is a woman retrieves backward with small steps while the guy proceeds forward to lead the pace and set the mood. Man initiates the move and woman listen. Then the conversion starts to unveil in swirling and tangling. As introduced in the early scenes, tango was emerged within “lower” class in Argentina , which male trial members and new immigrants search for sexual passion / pleasure in brothel. It was not the “Cinderella” type of romance like waltz, but a series of intense “give and take” actions mixing desire and struggle, interlacing pleasure and subtle sorrow. This is the “DNA’ of tango‘s unique style .
The beauty of tango lies between elegance of upper body and exciting crispy foot work. In the beginning of a ballroom scene, 5 pairs of dancers glided across the stage accompanied by live music. Main luminance was only from shin busters of both sides. Therefore, all legs are highlighted in low angle. The audience can see 2 pairs of legs as a group, gliding through with kicks and twirls, like some kind of love-making creatures swan in dark shadow and floating lights. Personally, this is a moment that stage performance and tango transcend beyond time.
As mentioned, the whole piece tended to relate tango with political history. The choreographic treatment is dramatic representation of realistic behaviors. Slow motions carried out by general civilians in contrast of strong repeated steps performed by chief police. Indeed, formalism was just a trap in narrative dance in this case. It appears tango dancers represented a group of people, and the demonstrators who died for their political struggle represented a totally different crowd. The power of s torytelling was somehow diluted. The legend of Argentina history was not very effective told when minimum attachment was shown among tango dancers towards the historical happenings.
The jewel of this performance is absolutely not the narrative. Beyond sets and scenery, we enjoy the pure performance of great dancers and musicians. Tango becomes a legend of its own whenever sweat and scent meets.