Germán Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi wih a dramatic lift. Pictures: Tristram Kenton


Birmingham Hippodrome


If you tried to choreograph sexual attraction you would come up with the tango. Ballet can be beautiful and tender, the waltz romantic, the jive fun but tango is raw passion, lust even, all set to music.

It is all about emotion and director and choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoul has created a multi-faceted look at the dance which is forever associated with Buenos Aires and Argentina but has spread to every corner of the world – Cherkaoul is a Flemish-Moroccan, for instance and while dancers are mainly from Argentina, there are cast members from countries such as France, the USA and Japan. 


m¡longa, which first appeared at the Hippodrome in 2014, incorporates not only dance but some very clever visuals from set designer and video designer Eugenio Szwarcer. We had a stage filling front screen where dancers raced along to giant projected street scenes, a large rear screen saw dancers following their own giant images, and, most ingenious of all, plain silhouettes brought to life by images projected from the side of the stage.

As for the dancing we had fun with the likes of Vivana D’attoma out to snare her man, we had ensemble pieces, an athletic piece from three men, dances with two women and a man, two men and a woman, a dance full of anger and violence by an arguing couple and there is a very clever dance with a huge, whirling plain white flag and the projected image of the Argentinian flag, recognisable to any football supporter.

In the second half there is a hold on to your seats dance that should have come with a do not try this at home, or indeed anywhere, label.

Former tango double world champions Germán Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi gave us a display of whirling legs, kicks and rapid steps, a helicopter spin fast enough to create lift off and all amid a roller coaster of throws, spins and, that word again, passion.


Maricel Giacomini and Bruno Gibertoni

This was tango in the raw. Precise, skilled, two bodies in unison gliding with feet moving at breakneck speed - sex in a dance. Wonderful stuff.

On stage are the orquesta típica under composer and musical director Fernando Marzan on piano in a traditional line up of guitar, violin, double bass and bandoneon. Close your eyes and you could have been in a 1900’s Buenos Aires waterfront bar.

Along with the authentic music were some quite stunning costumes (Tim Van Steenbergen) sheer and slinky for the women – with one backless dress defying gravity – while the men were the stuff of 30’s movies with wide trousers, pencil stripe suits and even a couple of pencil moustaches.

Some dances are more contemporary than others but at its heart m¡longa pays homage to a dance that came to symbolise Argentina. With twelve talented dancers and an authentic típica this Dance Consortium production is a tango night to savour. To 27-05-17

Roger Clarke



A second view


Dancing has been given a new lease of life since Strictly hit our television screens, and this remarkable show is another example of how the art can create breathtaking entertainment.

Not that m¡longa is a copy of the telly treat. Far from ii. This Dance Consortium presentation, inspired by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sadler’s Wells associate artist, concentrates on Argentinean tango with sections of contemporary dance, and is a visual delight.

The twelve dancers perform incredible movements that, on opening night, dew bursts of applause and cheers from a captivated audience.

It is slick, seductive and spectacular, with hugely enjoyable music provided by the five-strong on-stage band.

The performers wear, in the main, dark costumes with just the odd splash of colour, which perhaps ensures no-one’s attentions strays from the amazing skill on stage with wonderful contributions from tango stars like Gabriel Bordon, Nikito Cornejo, Vivana D’attoma, Gisela Galeassi, Maricel Giacomini. Claudio Gonzalez and Jullia Urruty.

There are stunning sections with mirror images of passionate dancers projected onto the rear of stage which create mesmerizing moments as you attempt to spot any difference in the movements of the people live on stage and the pictures behind, while  ilhouette figures and fascinating dances performed in front of Argentinean street scenes with moving traffic add another dimension.

Fernando Marzan is the composer and musical director of this dancing delight.

Paul Marston


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