Tangomotion at the St James’ Theatre 27/06/14

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Last seen as support artists in Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace’s smash hit stage show Midnight Tango, it seemed fitting that just over a year later Tango Siempre are back with a show of their own in what makes for an intimate and authentic evening of dance that takes us, with a gancho and a flick of foot, through the history of Tango.

Russell Grant features as a walking, talking one man programme (indeed there was no programme to speak of so referencing dancers and musicians has been made all the more difficult!) and the former astrologer does an able job of holding the whole production together nicely and moving it at a pleasing pace, clearly sharing a passion for this world he has stumbled upon recently.

As suggested, the musicians are the stars of this intimate evening, the St James Theatre holds no more than 150 people. The seven piece band transport us to the steamy salons of Buenos Aires in the 1930s without the aid of any of their dancers initially before we meet Maria & Giraldo and Richard & Paulina. The two couples stylisation of this dance form could not be more different; the former conjuring up images of the laid back but gently fizzing chemistry of the salons, whilst the speed and precision of the latter, enhances the taut rhythms of the stringed instruments providing a wonderful intensity, the small venue also allowing us to see every emotion expressed in their faces.

The evening is dominated by the music of Astor Piazzolla and the highlight of the evening is undoubtedly the band’s performance of his Libertango, its pulsating rhythms unmistakable and hint of melancholy are enough to create the drama without the aid of company dancers. Lighter moments of the evening also include three bravely improvised numbers, the dancer’s personalities are given an opportunity to shine through.

Although in London for two nights only Tangomotion is a tried and tested audience favourite with rave reviews from its visits to various locations across the UK. With Grant bringing a touch of showbiz, the dancers providing musicality and personality in equal abundance in addition to Tango Siempre’s flawless musicians there is no reason why it shouldn’t continue to do so.

First published on LondonDance.com 

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