With ten masters of Argentine tango, a duo of contemporary dancers, five musicians performing live and images of Buenos Aires, the brilliant Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui eulogizes the essence of tango, revealing its hidden aspects. Complex figures, spectacular lifts and a contagious fever.
“Very physical and very engaged, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s dance is rooted in touch and physical contact, inherent in his new piece m¡longa. It is inspired by tango dancers embracing, two bodies connecting and merging into one without speaking, without looking at each other, but clearly conveying to the spectators what they feel.” (lyoncapitale.fr)
Regularly invited by Danse Danse, the Belgian-Moroccan choreographer charmed Montreal audiences with the Shaolin monks of Sutra (a piece co-presented by Place des Arts), with Loin, danced by the Ballet du Grand Théâtre of Geneva, and with the powerful trilogy composed of Foi, Myth and Babel (words). Over a three-year period, he spent six lengthy sojourns in Buenos Aires to pursue his passion for tango and study its fundamentals, groundwork for the creation of his flamboyant piece m¡longa. Supported by the icon of Argentine tango Nélida Rodríguez Aure, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui sings the praises of this sensual dance and reveals its hidden facets thanks to the talents of five duos of dancers, leading lights in Buenos Aires. They encounter the contemporary dancers Damien Fournier and Silvina Cortés, who venture into this unknown world, are contaminated by it and contaminate it in turn. Here tango is danced back to back – one man with two women, five couples as one, three men together – in the round and on the ground. Each outdoes the other in dexterity, mastery and sensuality, performing complex figures and spectacular lifts danced in accordance with the standards of the genre. Original compositions are by Fernando Marzan and Cherkaoui’s regular composer Szymon Brzóska, their music fluctuating between jazzy riffs and the languid tones of the bandoneon. Among the clichés shattered by the choreographer, power is not the exclusive reserve of the male, nor is sensuality reserved only for women.
A master of merging and mingling, this beloved star of the European stage has previously explored kathak with Akram Kahn, flamenco with María Pagés and the traditional Indian dance kuchipudi with Shantala Shivalingappa. His love of tango was previously apparent in his first choreography Rien de rien, and in D’avant and Tempus Fugit.
“Cherkaoui liberates the tango. With m¡longa, the Belgian choreographer reinvents with passion the dance of the backstreets of Buenos Aires.” (Le Figaro, Lyon)
“Mating rituals can never have looked more artfully sexy, nor, in the show as a whole, has tango ever been given a fonder or more imaginative makeover. What a treat.” (Daily Telegraph, London)
Photo © Tristam Kenton
Directed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in collaboration with the dancers. Tango Dancers Germán Cornejo "Nikito", Martin Epherra, Gisela Galeassi, Esther Garabali, Maricel Giacomini, Bruno Gibertoni, Claudio Gonzalez, Roberto Leiva, Julia Urruty, Valentina Villarroel. Contemporary Dancers Silvina Cortés (17-19 February), Damien Fournier (17-19 February), Jason Kittelberger (20-21 February), Jennifer White (20-21 February). Musicians Fulvio Giraudo (piano), Guillermo Rubino (violin), Alejandro Sancho (guitar), Federico Santisteban (bandoneon), Roberto Santocono (bass). Tango Consultant and Rehearsal Director Nelida Rodriguez de Aure. Set and Video Designer Eugenio Szwarcer. Composers Fernando Marzan, Szymon Brzóska. Additional composer Olga Wojciechowska. Costume Designer Tim Van Steenbergen. Lighting Designer Adam Carrée. Sound Designer Gaston Briski. Assistant to the Choreographer Satoshi Kudo. Additional assistants Damien Fournier, Silvina Cortés, Johnny Lloyd. Production Manager Adam Carrée. Production Manager (Argentina) Jose Luis Fioruccio. Assistant to the Costume Designer Greet Prové. Costume Supervisor and Wardrobe Manager Lydia Hardiman. Fileteado Artist (applied to costumes) Alfredo Genovese. Set and video design assistant Paula Bosch. Touring Production / Stage Manager Zeynep Kepekli. Tour Manager Carol Murcia. Re-lighter Will Frost. Technical Stage Manager Sam Thornber. Video Operator Oscar Lisshagen. Sound Operator Alejandro Zambrano. Wardrobe Manager Leila Ransley. Set construction Théâtre de Vidy, Steel the Scene. Video supplier XL Video. Executive Producer Suzanne Walker. Executive Producer (Argentina) Ricardo Szwarcer. Producer Ghislaine Granger. Assistant Producer Sandra Castell-Garcia. Producing & Touring Co-ordinator Isabelle Drummond. Head of Touring Dawn Prentice. Marketing Manager Lucy White. Press Manager Caroline Ansdell. Consultant Hisashi Itoh. Original production idea Ricardo Szwarcer.
A Sadler’s Wells London Production
Co-produced with Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne; Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps; Théâtre du Jorat, Mėzières; deSingel international arts campus, Antwerp; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Les Nuits de Fourvière/Département du Rhône; Movimentos Festwochen der Autostadt in Wolfsburg; Festspielhaus St Pölten; Fondazione Musica per Roma; Eastman.
Thanks to: Michel Beuchat, Lars Boot, Christopher Bugot, Michel Caspary, Myriam de Clopper, Diego Franssens, René Gonzales, Nick Holdridge, Isabelle Imsand, Jérôme Ingravallo, Lies Martens, Karthika Nair, Fernando di Nasso, Stéphane Sagon, Dieuwertje Spek, Isabella Spirig, Barbara Suthoff, Thierry Tjordman, Sarah Turin, René Zahnd, Alejandro Zambrano, Teatro de la Ribera - Buenos Aires, all the staff at Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, Théâtre du Jorat, Mėzières and deSingel international arts campus, Antwerp.