Posted on February 4, 2013
There are two tango shows in London this February. The second, Midnight Tango, opens at the Phoenix Theatre next week and will have a tough time to equal its rival. Tango Fire’s Flames of Desire (pictured), currently at the Peacock Theatre, showcases tango with characteristic Argentine power and passion. Ten dancers, accompanied by four musicians and a singer, captivate and amaze in this ultra-sleek and sexy show.
The opening act features more traditional tango, which although incredibly intricate and beautiful, is perhaps a little repetitive. But the second act is superbly impressive and fast-paced, with increasingly daring and acrobatic lifts leaving the audience gasping for breath.
Whether it’s because the company is from world tango capital, Buenos Aires, or just because the dancers are of such high quality, the show is utterly seamless. Every movement is impeccably precise, well timed and controlled and there are plenty of blink-and-you-miss-it surprises.
All the performers are superb, but it is the dark and seductive Gisela Galeassi and partner German Cornejo who demand most attention. Their first duet is a lightning-quick one in close embrace, with feet crossing over and legs interweaving faster than I could keep up with.
Their second dance is slower but equally exquisite, with showy choreography including Cornejo holding Galeassi spectacularly over his head with one arm. These two dancers are worth the ticket price alone.
As well as couples performing individually, the group dances together, though in these sections the show’s spark is somewhat diminished. Dancers perform a simpler vocabulary and their focus appears to be on keeping in time as opposed to displaying their unique styles which are in evidence elsewhere.
The onstage musicians – pianist Matias Feigin, violinist Estefani Corsini, bassist Facundo Benavidez and bandoneón-player Clemente Carrascal, collectively known as Quarteto Fuego – are just as talented as the dancers and perform the traditional tango music with real panache.
Tango Fire is a superb company on top form and Flames of Desire is filled with choreography at its dramatic and inspiring best. Whether you like traditional or modern tango, or just enjoy watching Strictly on TV, there is plenty here to enjoy.
Tango Fire’s Flames of Desire is at London’s Peacock Theatre until February 24. For information, see the Sadler’s Wells website or call the ticket office on 0844 412 4322.