LUIS BRAVO’S “FOREVER TANGO”
Will linger on our minds… Forever
By Iride Aparicio
Pictures courtesy of: Luis Bravo Productions
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.
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.
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
Video Courtesy of Luis Bravo Produnctions, Inc.