Tuesday, 19 May 2015

It takes Three to Tango

The most fascinating country I have ever visited is Argentina. I have made two visits there and travelled from Iguazu Falls in the North to Tierra del Fuego in the South, the Tigre delta to Mount Aconcagua and from the simple Welsh settlement in Dolavon to Alpine Bariloche. On each of my visits I have learned to love the tango and, in particular, the music of Astor Piazzolla.

In the last few weeks I have seen two ballets that have been set to Piazzolla's music.  Scottish Ballet performed van Manen's 5 Tangos and Northern Ballet Daniel de Andrade's Fatal Kiss.  Here's what I wrote about 5 Tangos:
"I have been a van Manen fan for as long as I have been following ballet and I love his work but I enjoyed 5 Tangos more than any of his works that I had seen before. I have been to Buenos Aires on two occasions twice and have been fascinated by the tango which is far more than a social dance style. It is a genre of music and indeed poetry as well as dance as I mentioned in my review of Scottish Ballet's Streetcar earlier this month. Van Manen paid faithful homage to that art form using music by the Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla. The dancers - the women clad in red and black and the men in black - executed his choreography with flair. They were led by Luciana Ravizzi who had danced Blanche at Sadlier's Wells. She is a Porteña, proud and elegant and yesterday she was magnificent. Clearly, the Glaswegians treasure her. She received three enormous bouquets at the end of the show."
See  No Mean City - Accessible Dance and Ballet 26 April 2015. I reviewed Fatal Kiss in Between Friends - Northern Ballet's Mixed Programme 10 May 2015 and Sapphire 15 March 2015.

Now there is a chance to see another ballet set to Piazzolla's music. Kit Holder has choreographed Quatrain for Birmingham Royal Ballet to Piazzolla's The Four Season's of Buenos Aires. Holder is an impressive talent. I first noticed him in Ballet Black's To Fetch a Pail of Water (see Ballet Black's Best Performance Yet 17 Feb 2015) and I was bowled over by Hopper which he created for Ballet Central (see Dazzled 3 May 2015).

Holder is not the only promising young choreographer from Birmingham Royal Ballet. Ruth Brill who enchants me with her dancing has choreographed Matryoshka to music by Dmitri Shostakovich. Last year my over 55 class danced to music by the same composer and it was lovely. Matryoshka was created last year for Symphony Hall and it won a lot of compliments. I very much look forward to seeing it too.

Birmingham Royal Ballet are dancing those works as part of their southern tour which starts tomorrow in Truro and is zigzagging its way through the South West taking in Poole, Cheltenham and Wycombe. I'm traipsing down to Bucks for the show next week. I shall also see the northern tour in York tomorrow. Should be good.

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