Tango Fire Critic's Choice Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Sat., Jan. 24, 3 & 8 p.m. 2009

Soft, romantic dances have always left me lukewarm. One dance I recall as truly sexy is Cycles of Lust, an evening of hot and cold war between the sexes, performed here in 1993 by Israel’s Liat Dror and Nir Ben Gal Company. The dancers smashed glassware on the floor; then, while dirty-dancing near the end, crunched it underfoot. Tango has a similar appeal. Its classic stance is cold—a stiff, open embrace—but also classic are the hot, jabbing steps between a partner’s thighs and the violent flinging of the woman. Tango Fire—an ensemble based in Buenos Aires, whose brothels fostered the style—stays true to the form while ramping up the heat. Performed by five couples, a four-piece band, and a singer, the show is divided into two acts, the first set in a cafe and fairly traditional, the second featuring an acrobatic style influenced by modern ballroom competitions. One problem is that there’s too much acting: parted lips, longing stares. In traditional tango the face is impassive, which makes for a hotter form of cold.

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