As a dance form based on the most subtle, understated, imperceptibly small communication between lead and follow, Argentine tango doesn’t necessarily lend itself to performance on big stages. Traditionally, couples dance in a close embrace, communicating through small movements of the torso; most of the action is in the legs, in long strides or quick, precise flashes of feet that flirt, tap, circle and caress each other. The infinite complexity and nuance that make tango so rewarding to dance are difficult to translate and amplify for the stage, even when spiced up with slick turns, lifts and high kicks.
Tango Buenos Aires does justice to Argentina’s national dance, keeping true to the intimacy and lightning-quick, complex footwork that characterize tango, while amping up dances with flashier movements that play to the back row. A story line about the life of Argentina’s famous first lady Eva Peron is woven through a variety of tango styles and moods, danced by a company of ten. Perhaps most compelling is the six-piece musical ensemble that performs on stage alongside the dancers, completing the mood, and drawing the viewer into a world of elegance, sensuality and nostalgia. (Sharon Hoyer)
Tango Buenos Aires at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress, (800)982-2787. Sunday, January 25 at 3pm. $25-$65.