The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
By Virginia Ross, for The Quill
A good crowd gathered on Thursday night at Burlington's Civic Music concert to encounter a hot Latin dance, the Tango which is sensual, exciting and playful.
Having seen a version of this dance on Dancing with the Stars, I was expecting a really steamy program. Actually, Tango Buenos Aires presented an Argentinean ballet which was divided into seven parts that flowed from one to the other with a break after the fourth part.
Four men and four women danced with athleticism and grace to Argentinean music of an orchestra featuring a piano, a violin and two concertinas (A concertina is a free-reed musical instrument, like the various accordions and the harmonica. It has bellows, and buttons typically on both ends of it. When pressed, the buttons travel in the same direction as the bellows, unlike accordion buttons, which travel perpendicularly to the bellows.-Wikipedia).
A male soloist, at times, accompanied himself on the guitar. That all being said, the performance was a whirlwind of kicking, circling choreographed dance with lifts and dives-it was hot. To say this dance is physical is definitely an understatement.
The women's costumes were stunning and they used their design to accentuate each step. Really, how they managed to dance with such high heels and in such a physical way was amazing.
One of the men gave a spectacular demonstration using the boledoras. (Gauchos use boleadoras to capture running cattle or game. Depending on the exact design, the thrower grasps the boleadora by one of the weights or by the nexus of the cords.
He gives the balls momentum by swinging them and then releases the boleadora.
The weapon is usually used to entangle the animal's legs, but when thrown with enough force might even inflict damage (i.e., breaking a bone).-Wikipedia). Round and round they went, over, under, sideway with the clacking resounding throughout the auditorium.
The story of the ballet centered on the life Carlos Gardel, a French-Argentine singer, songwriter, composer, actor and prominent lyricist who with long time collaborator Alfredo Le Pera wrote several classic tangos.
Beginning with the delinquent Gardel the ballet moves to his passions, an encounter with cowboys (gauchos), and a stint in Paris and with Broadway to dying in an airplane crash.
The orchestra intersperse Argentinean numbers between dances that gave musicians a chance to showcase their talents.
Definitely, the evening was a culture event and all who attended agreed that the brush with Argentina was memorable.
The next Civic Music is on Oct. 26 when the Martial Arts and Acrobats of the People's Republic of China will fill the stage. Plan to attend.