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LUIS BRAVO’S “FOREVER TANGO”

Will  linger on our minds… Forever

By Iride Aparicio

Pictures courtesy of:  Luis Bravo Productions

Forever Tango 1
From l-r Marcela Duràn  receives intructions from Executive Producer  Luis Bravo

SAN JOSÉ, California – The  wailing of a bandoneón pierces the darkness of  the  San José Center for the Performing Arts. A few seconds later, the lights begin illuminating the stage. Silhouetted in  in the back of the stage  the members of  the orchestra become visible.  They are: Bandoneons: Eduardo Miceli, Alejandro Zàrae, y Jorge Trivisonno.  Violins: Rodion Boshoer. Viola: Alexander Sechkin. Cello : Luis Bravo. Bass: Hector Pineda, y piano: Fernando Marzàn.  As they play “El Preludio del Bandoneón y La Noche,”  the tango is performed  by Vitoria Galoto y Juan Paulo Horvath on the front of the stage.

Presented by Western Stages, Inc. for one night  only,  Luis Bravo’s “TANGO ARGENTINO,”  gave the audience in San José, one of its best performances. It received a standing ovation in return.

Forever Tango 2
         Juan Paulo Horvath and Vitoria Galoto dance a sensual tango

What made this “FOREVER TANGO”  better than previous performances, was that the choreography of the show  allowed  the six couples of dancers to show  their different styles of tangos  danced by one couple at a time with the exception of the two ensembles: “El Suburbio.”and “Condombe”

The style of  the tangos was diverse. Some were what we may call “Classical Tangos” others were stylized, Some couples  incluyed “pasos” (steps) in their tangos that made them akin to “pas de deux” in classical ballets while in others  the dexterity in their dancers resemble  gymnastics: vertical splits,  fast rotating of knees, and lifts.

The night began with an ensemble dance  inside a bordello. We see  a man  surrounded by beautiful women in one corner on the stage  and several men standing in the opposite side. As the music begins, the man with all the women selects one of them and  brings her to a man in the opposite side. The couple begin dancing.

The man which may be describe  as  “The Pimp”  again shows his status when during the exchange of women he drops his  handkerchief on the floor and immediately one of  them picks it up, As she is about to give it to him,,he stretches his leg and  placing  it over the bended leg of the girl. Handles her his handkerchief, and gestures that he wants her to shine his shoes with it.   The dancers in the  “skit” dance the tango “arrabalero” (the “Low class tango”  in a  dance that ends with a  two men fight.   

One of the reasons  why this show of  FOREVER TANGO was better than previous presentations, was  that the stage at the S.J. Center for the Performing Arts is long and deep allowing not only the orchestra to be unobtrusively seated in the back of the stage, but  the tango dancers, which were superb, to demonstrate their  mastery in tango dancing.

Forever Tango 3
Vanesa Villalba  y David Leguizamón doing a physically- demanding tango

Another reason why people loved the show was  that the six couples: Victoria Galoto & Juan Paulo Horvath; Marcela Duràn & Gaspar Godoy; David Leguizamón & Karina Piazza, Ezequiel López Hudyma & María Celeste Medina; Vanesa Villalba & Facundo Piñero: y Sebastain Ripoli & Mariana Bojanich, danced one couple at a time, allowing  each couple (who choreographed their own dances)  to show off their own tango, and allowed the audience to enjoy them all.

There were many styles of  “tangos” represente during the night and all were well danced, with  rhythm and with the couples perfectly synchronized with each other. A “unique” one  was danced by a  woman who comes out wearing a black shawl over her head and uses it later on  in her dance  after a male dancer wraps it around her waist.

One of the most physically demanding tangos that night  was performed by Vanesa Villalba y Facundo Piñero. The flexibility of  Vanesa as a dancer, needs to be seen to be believed.  While dancing, she  bends  her back backwards touching the floor with her head and  hands, She is also  lifted by her waist by her partner  and dropped, sliding  her body over the body of the male dancer, on the floor.

The only  thing  that was missing  in most tangos this night  was the “sensuality” of the dance. In this show not even  Marcela Duràn (one of the top dancers of the company)  “turned on” the audience with her “fire,” as she  usually does,  when she danced with Gaspar Godoy

But Tango  is “passion” and this night we found the “passion in the movements and facial expression of Sebastiàn Ripoll who danced “La Mariposa” (The Butterfly) with Mariana Bojanich staring enraptured at her face on every single step

The  only number in the program where  FOREVER TANGO did not look  perfect was in el  “Condombe” a “tropical rhythmic dance  which was performed by Martin de León singing  and the six couples dancing. The number looked  muddled and the  reason was that  all the couples were not synchronized. With each couple dancing different steps, from the audience’s point of view  the choreography of the dance looked  disorganized.

 

As a Singer, Martin de León, who has a deep mellow voice and a style of his own, sang the tango  “Uno”  with feeling  and gave the audience a magnificent interpretation  of  “El Día que me Quieras.”

Excelent were also  the “solos” of violin and bandoneon, and the solo of  pianist Fernando Marzàn who with amazing dexterity in his fingers  managed to play every single note with the same force  and  his arpeggios (notes played in succession) not only fast but faultless.

The orchestra, (Directed  by Eduardo Meceli)  which could be described as a string quartet with bandoneóns accompaniment,  was well tuned and marked  the rhythm of each tango exactly on the beat.

FOREVER TANGO  came only for one night to San José,  but the costumes (Argemira Affonso) the dances, the dancers, the orchestra and  the wailing sound of the bandoneóns will linger on, remaining  in our minds…forever.     

FOREVER TANGO HIGHLIGHTS

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Video Courtesy of Luis Bravo Produnctions, Inc.