ALBANY — The Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires galvanized a small crowd at The Egg Saturday night with what tango is really supposed to look like. This stop was part of a two-week North American tour for the troupe, last here in 2011.
The first act had the five women and five men seeming to meet casually at a tango bar where a few chairs were scattered about. The fabulous amplified band of pianist Matias Feigin, bass Facundo Benavidez, violinist Gemma Scalia and bandoneon player Hugo Satorre were on a stage at the back playing seductive sounds by Piazzolla, Pugliese or Gardel as stage smoke filtered through.The back scrim changed colors for each dance.
The couples then paired off and began dancing. The moves were tightly choreographed with taut little turns, hops, lots of little quick steps and the signature little kicks only from the knee in which the men’s and women’s legs sometimes intertwined. The women’s dresses all had slits in the front and back to allow for the kicks and the men wore suits often with vests.
The first part had 12 dances with most of them about the same length. After the first two dances for the full company, each of the couples was spotlighted. Some dances were more dramatic and all had intensity.
But the amazing dancers were only warming up for the second half. The women literally let their hair down with all of the tangos more fiery, seductive or with more of a story, and the steps far more complicated. While the men were always straight-backed and propelled their partners about with strong hands, the women became more acrobatic with lifts and body rolls typically seen in pairs figure skating. Often those full body drops from over the man’s head to some position not quite hitting the floor brought gasps from the crowd. Yet the ladies all took it in stride.
All of the couples were featured and took a bow. Julio Seffino and Carla Dominguez were all serious in green, focused and intense with no smiles. Ezequiel Lopez and Camila Alegre in magenta were sultry and seductive. Marcos Esteban Roberts pursued Louise Junqueira Malucelli , who resisted him. Eber Burger had Sabrina Noqueira draped over his shoulder in a slow seduction that got only more acrobatic. But nothing matched the physical virtuosity of Sebastian Alvarez and Victoria Saudelli, who wore an exotic leotard-like costume, and whose fiery spins, flips, and lifts were awe-inspiring.
The band got a spotlight with Feigin playing a floridly improvised jazz tune before the band segued into a hot Latin number. The company appeared for the finale but the crowd got an encore that included Satorre taking a tango turn.
This was the first in the Dance in Albany series. The next is Oct. 12 with 10 Hairy Legs.