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Argentina’s sexy national dance takes the stage : Buenos Aires-based Tango Fire will bring their sensual moves to Seoul

Oct 16,2017
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Buenos Aires-based tango company Tango Fire will visit Seoul for four shows next week. Above, Marcos Roberts, left, and Louise Malucelli, demonstrate the passion of the sensual dance style. [CREDIA]
Tango aficionados often insist that once people encounter tango, they can’t help but fall in love with it, adding that those who say they don’t really enjoy tango haven’t really experienced the authentic seduction of this genre of dance.

To prove it, the Buenos Aires-based company Tango Fire is coming to Seoul for just four shows starting on Oct. 27 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts Center in central Seoul - enough to overwhelm Korean audiences with one of the sexiest, most electrifying and passionate performances on stage that the audience will ever see, they say.

Headed by German Cornejo, a former tango world champion, Tango Fire attempts to show off various charms of tango by taking the audience back in time to 1920 for a night at a milonga, where tango dances are held, in Buenos Aires for a more authentic and traditional tango in Act 1, then showcasing modernized tango moves in Act 2.

Critics have praised Cornejo for choreographing the show with “jeweler’s attention to detail.”

This is the company’s second visit to Seoul, but since tango has skyrocketed in popularity since then, the troupe says the upcoming show will be a good opportunity to experience real tango from Argentina for both beginners and fans.

To learn more about tango prior to the upcoming show, the Korea JoongAng Daily interviewed Marcos Roberts and Louise Malucelli, one of five couples who will appear in the Tango Fire show, while they visited Seoul late last month for a showcase. The following are edited excerpts from the interview.



Q. Can you introduce our readers to Tango Fire?

A. Roberts:
Tango Fire is not just about showing all the difficult techniques of tango dance, or merely the sexiness of the dance. Of course there’s an array of lifts, mid-air holds and all those acrobatic movements, but we have a story and it’s more theatrical. We attempt to simply show passion and the connection - connection between the partners, with the music from the live quartet and also with the audience.

Malucelli: It is divided in two acts, and the audience will be able to see all sides of tango. In the first act, we dance more traditional tango, somewhat like what more older Argentinians in milongas dance. It is quite humorous as well, and the costumes are very colorful.

The second act, on the other hand, is more modern. The choreography is more intense, and from the first act, it builds up, so it’s more explosive.



What are the major differences between traditional and modern tango?

Malucelli:
For traditional tango, you dance more on the floor. There are not many movements being done in the air. Meanwhile, modern tango is a mixture of other styles of dance, like ballet and jazz. It has more tricks, and it’s more acrobatic than traditional.



Tango was created in the 1880s, and sometimes, it is not so easy for traditional culture to move into the next generation. Is tango enjoyed by younger Argentinians as well?

Malucelli:
Yes. In Argentina, you can see a lot of young people in milongas. In milongas that are focused on very traditional tango, you may see more older people, but generally, many young Argentinians casually go to milongas to spend their evenings. So I guess we have successfully continued our tradition.

Roberts: Tango is, thankfully, still enjoyed by all generations in Argentina, and like she said, young people like to enjoy their time in milongas. In Buenos Aires, we have milongas on [almost] every block, like you have a Starbucks on every block in Seoul. People of Argentina, young and old, all go and enjoy drinks with tango music and dance.

As a young child, you grow up listening to tango. You hear about tango and listen to tango and watch tango with your family so the tradition is not really broken. Above all, I think the rhythm, the beat and the passion of tango is in our DNA like Koreans have your own rhythm in your DNA.



Tango partners dance chest to chest, and I heard it’s the most intimate style of dance. Is that why many tango dance partners are married couples?

Roberts:
That’s right. About 80 percent of all tango partners are married couples.

Malucelli: There are partners who are brothers and sisters or really close friends. But there’s no other partner that you can feel so intimate and close to than your husband or your wife.

Because tango requires dancers to be in close contact at all times, as we rehearse all day as well, it’s important to find that partner whom you can really trust, love and respect. It’s not easy to find a perfect partner whom you can feel totally connected to. If you do, you get married (laughs).

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [sharon@joongang.co.kr]



Tango Fire will kick off its four-show run in Seoul on Oct. 27 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. The performance starts at 8 p.m. on Friday; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday; and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from 30,000 won ($26) to 110,000 won. The troupe will also perform in Ulsan on Oct. 24.