Unless you're from Argentina, you've probably never seen the tango performed as it is in its native land. Since the late 19th century, the sensual traditional dance has been a significant part of Argentina's history and culture. Coming straight from Latin America to Charleston, the Argentinean Tango Festival Company hopes to spread the tango gospel. They're performing various shows around town through Feb. 8.
"Our company performs Tango de Salon, a traditional Argentinean form of the tango which brings the audience a very authentic experience," says the company's founder and producer Pablo Weil. Unlike most ballroom dances, this distinctive form of tango is typically improvised and fast-paced, with dancers elegantly executing lifts, swings, and spins. The flowing dresses of the women dancers give off an essence similar to that of flamenco or salsa dances. The dance was initially performed in the salons and ballrooms of Buenos Aires.
The company is touring with two pairs of world-renowned dancers. Javier Villa and Vanina Perepelizin were finalists in dancing and choreography categories at the Global Dance Contest 2011, finalists at the Tango World Contest scenario category, and featured dancers at the exhibition in Milonga Grata, Barcelona. Jesús Taborda and Micaela Minervino have performed with the Fusion Tango Ballet, toured with the European Tour, and have done presentations together with Mora Godoy Tanog Company.
The group will perform small shows at NV Dance Lounge on Feb. 1-2 and Suede Supper Club Feb. 6-7 followed by a more theatrical performance at the Charleston Music Hall on Feb. 8. This multimedia performance will feature Argentinean tango dancers, musicians, and singers. "This show is the biggest in the tour because the venue allows for more people in the audience, better lighting and sound, and a longer set," Weil says. The touring company will also be offering private and group tango lessons during their stay in Charleston, giving community members a chance to understand the Argentinean tango experience.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit artforfitness.com/tango.