London’s burning: Flames of Desire from Tango Fire

19 Mar

For those who haven’t visited Buenos Aires’ famous dance halls nor seen the likes of Vincent Simone or Flavia Cacace strut their staff on the dance floor in Strictly Come Dancing, tango might seem a stompy, stroppy dance characteristic of a military march.

But when Tango Fire, hailed as Argentina’s hottest dance company, brings their new show Flames of Desire to London in April, you’re promised a taste of the energy and passion for which the Argentine tango is famous.

Described by the Evening Standard as “each duet a mini drama, sexual electricity at the twitch of a hip”, Flames of Desire will showcase the speediest kicks, hooks (known as ganchos) and flicks in the business. As implied by its name, Flames of Desire will show how far removed the twirling moves of the Argentine tango are from the rigidity of its predecessor.

The show portrays the dance from its origins in the 1860s, performed by gauchos in the pampas and in the bars and brothels of working class Buenos Aires, to its popular contemporary form. The history of the Argentine tango is a raw, emotional one; it started as a duel between two male dancers, each trying to out-do the other and win the female’s attention. It soon developed into a sexually-charged mixed-couples dance which proved so racy it was banned in 1914 by Pope Pius X. Luckily this didn’t stop the dance in its tracks.

Tango Fire’s latest show has enjoyed sell-out seasons in New York, Barcelona, Hamburg and Cape Town and will run at the Peacock Theatre in Holborn from 12th to 23rd April ahead of a UK tour. The cast is made up of ten dancers including three world tango champions, German Cornejo, José Fernández and Melody Celatti, accompanied by a quatrotango or quartet of musicians.

Audiences are invited to get involved before each show begins with a 30-minute session of milonga, a traditional Argentine dance which preceded the tango. And for those who want a taste of the real thing, there will be a free tango class for ticket holders after the show on Tuesday 19th April. Tickets cost between £15 and £42. Call 0844 412 4322.

Images: Sadler’s Wells Press Images

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