Tango Fire served more than a warming antidote for a cold winter night. This Argentine ensemble, seen Friday night at The Egg, ignited a tango inferno with a performance that was nothing short of miraculous.
Five couples burned up the stage — the sky too — in a heart-stopping showcase of steamy traditional and acrobatic modern tango. It was a fireworks display that had audiences gasping and uncertain of their eyesight. Could it be possible for a man to flip a woman in the air so that she spins several times before she lands on his shoulders and then corkscrews down his torso and legs. That’s surely what it looked like. And that is surely why Tango Fire is breathtaking.
The fanfare was elevated by a wonderfully fluid and responsive four-piece orchestra, Quatrotango, and a super soave singer, Jesus Hidalgo, whose voice was simply smooth. The percussive music punctuated the dancers’ syncopated moves that ran from fast to slow, sharp to slithery, but always poised.
The dancers looked marvelously elegant too. The men, in suits with slicked back hair, looked debonair next to their high-heeled partners wearing dresses that had skirt slits that cut to their hip bones. The outfits, of satin, sequins, velvet and lace, gave a clear view of the feisty leg work that cut the air like dueling swords. This ubiquitous flick lends the tango a macho feel. But the long slides, with the leg stretching across the floor and the backbends of surrender defines tango as a powerful tool of seduction.
The great thing about tango, too, as opposed to other social dances, is it an art form that is beyond a step and a rhythm. It has a life of its own and each couple infuses it with their own brand.
Tango Fire has some daring personalities too. The most thrilling couple to watch was the classy German Cornejo (assistant to the choreographer) and Carolina Giannini. Their control in the pyrotechnics was amazing. Cornejo flung her out on the floor in front of him, she tumbled, with several rotations, and then sprung back between his legs and out again to land in a split with her head flung back.
Sebastian Alvarez and Victoria Saudelli were showy too, but in an overtly sexual way that diminished respect for their abilities. Their lifts, still, were astonishing.
Also enjoyable was Jose Fernandez and Melody Celatti, who tempered their dancing with a playful sweetness. Mariano Balois and Yanina Fajar (director) were sophisticated. And Juan Malizia and Florencia Roldan had a tender rapport. It was also great fun to see the group dances in which the quick switch partners and the tangle of legs are flying so fast that viewers were pleasantly bewildered.
No matter who was center stage, Tango Fire blazed brightly throughout the intoxicating night.