Tango Inferno a Hot Night at Mondavi
The show was a World Stage: Dance Series Event and brought out fans of visually dazzling dance and enthralling music performance. They were well-rewarded.
The stage of Jackson Hall had been recreated as a milonga, a dancing hall, where tango is danced.
The band was on a simple stage slightly raised above the dance floor and. A half-dozen standard industrial light shades in red hung over the dance floor and few tables ran down the sides of the floor. A large square scrim behind the band changed from one vidid color pattern to another. The overall effect was simple but dramatic.
The five dancing couples that make up Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aries are lead by Yanina Fajar, director of choreography, and German Cornejo, assistant director of choreography.
Fajar has been studying numerous forms of dance, including tango, since the age of 6. She graduated from Francassi Conservatory as a teacher of several dance forms and worked her way up through the tango world, coming to Tango Inferno in 2005, becoming choreographer in 2008. She has been dancing with Mariano Balois since 2009.
Cornejo, now 25, has been dancing since he was 10. He also moved up the ranks of tango, becoming the World Champion of Tango in 2005. Even at his young age, he is considered one of the best teachers of show tango in Buenos Aries. He has been dancing with Carolina Giannini since 2006.
Juan Milzia and Florencia Roldan have danced together for four years, joining Tango Fire in 2006.
Jose Fernandez and Melody Celatti first danced together in 2005, becoming World Champions of Stage Tango in 2008. They joined Tango Fire in 2010.
Sebastian Alverez and Victoria Saudelli started touring the world after becoming a dance couple in 2000. They joined Tango Fire in 2008.
The performance opened with all five couples performing “Don Juan,” a tango by Ponzio. Immediately, the audience was transported to a Buenos Aries milonga.
Balois and Fajar danced the second dance, “Milonga de Mis Amores,” followed by all five couples dancing “Corralera.” Both dances were milongas, not tangos.
While similar, milonga and tango are unique dances, and milonga is sometimes referred to as the “mother of tango.”
Jesus Hidalgo, the singer for Tango Fire, performed a solo of the tango “El Dia Que Me Quieras.” The singers are an important part of tango and can become very famous on their own. Hidalgo, relatively new to Tango Fire (2010), started singing lessons at 13 and has toured throughout the world.
After a tango duet, “Mala Junta,” danced by Juan and Florencia, the male dancers danced two milongas, “El firulete” and “La Trampera.” Their performance harkens back to the very early days of milonga and tango.
For many years, milonga and tango were only danced by men, as it was considered immoral for women to dance these dance forms, especially with men. It took decades for the tango to find social acceptance. It is not hard to see why the dance forms were considered immoral. To the untrained eye, the milonga and tango are indistinguishable. Both are sexual, sensual and erotic.
Following another solo by Hidalgo, there were several tangos danced by single couples and the whole company. All the dances performed by single couples are choreographed by the couple. All the dances by the company are choreographed by Fajar, except the last dance of the first half of the performance, “Canaro en Paris” and “Oblivion” in the second half. Both of those are choreographed by Cornejo.
The second half of the show included several tangos by single couples and the company. There was another solo by Hidalgo. Interspersed were three orchestral solos by Quatrotango.
Quatrotango has been touring with Tango Fire since 2005. It was created in 2000 as a bandoneon and piano duo featuring Gabriel Clenar on the piano and Hugo Satorre on Bandoneon.
The bandoneon was developed by Heinrich Band in the 1840s. Although developed in Germany, it quickly made its way to Argentina and became synonymous with the Argentine tango. For more information on the bandoneon, visit music.vt.edu.
Violinist Marcelo Rebuffi joined in 2002, and in 2005, Geraldo Scaglione joined in on the the double bass. Clenar does the arrangements and adaptations for Quatrotango, which has performed throughout the world.
The orchestral solos were fantastic and received a strong ovation from the audience. While the music was a big deal, it was all about the dance. There just was so much more to the performance with the dance.
With “Tango Inferno,” Tango Fire delivered all the beauty, drama, sensuality, sexiness and eroticism of the Argentine tango. Dancers glided across the floor only to rapidly turn and glide off in another direction. Arms and legs moved so quickly they nearly blurred. Hands and feet popped up everywhere, and then disappeared as quickly. All this movement was syncopated to the music. For the tango enthusiast, there are names and definitions to all the moves. For the rest of the audience, it was simply beautiful to behold.
This is the last World Stage: Dance Series Event of the 10-11 season. For all other Mondavi Center events go here and click on events