Tango Fire at the Peacock Theatre is the show that makes you fall in love with tango even if you’ve never had any interest in this genre before. Six talented couples, a quartet of musicians and sincere emotions are on display during this performance.
Tango Fire, under Germán Cornejo’s direction comes to the London stage for the seventh time, and it’s something worth seeing. Extraordinarily skilled couples, including former World Tango Champions, aim to share their knowledge and intricate love of this traditional Argentinian dance. The programme shows different versions of tango in development, from the most traditional and classic dances to more theatrical and contemporary variations.
As the show gets closer to modern versions of tango, it’s easier to notice the difference between classic and contemporary variations. If the first part of the programme, dedicated to historical dance, is more focused on leg movement and steps, waving and turns of the partners, then after the break the show turns into an acrobatic showcase with more for-show-effects rather than dancing routines.
From the flowing and effortless movements of the first part, the dancers gradually lead us to complicated and demanding moves of the second half of the performance, with more splits, spinning and supports than you could ever expect. Classic tango symbolically tells about happiness and falling in love, modern versions are more passionate and dramatic.
In both cases, the excellence of each and every performance is incredible. The further we go, the more the audience tends to give long standing ovations to their favourite couples. The choreography is diverse, and each couple gets the chance to show their own dancing style, and their vision, as those individual acts are choreographed by the couples themselves.
The live music, performed by tango quartet of piano, contrabass, violin and bandoneon on stage, helps to create the special mood of the evening. They play traditional, classic and well-known tango melodies, including the widely recognised ‘Libertango’ by Piazzolla. The instrumental performances they give throughout the evening add up to the general feeling of excitement in the audience.
Overall, even the skeptical viewer would not be able to ignore the ecstasy that the majority of the audience comes into by the end of the performance. The show surprises, and makes you wonder if the laws of the gravity have any force on this stage. Here, the dancers set the stage on fire, and I highly recommend this show. Tango Fire is running at The Peacock until February 16th.
image Credit: Oliver Neubert