Heady brew from tango roots

Tango Pasión

Birmingham Town Hall

**** 

MAYBE it is because the country is gripped by Strictly Come Dancing fever or maybe it was just a desire for a bit of Argentine heat but Tango Pasión certainly pulled in the crowds.

And if they were looking for hot sultry tango they certainly found it. The dance which began in the steamy clubs of waterside Buenos Aires may have been refined by decades of ballroom but this show certainly went back to tango's roots.

Set loosely in a bar scenario there was little story but plenty of dancing. From sensuous and slow moving clinches through to fast and furious stepping, Tango Pasión certainly showed the versatility of this dance. It also revealed its athleticism with lifts, spins, swirls and splits galore – no wonder all the dancers are in such great shape.

There were times when the pasión overtook the tango – not least when a quartet of women clad in basques and suspenders took to the stage – but overall the balance was well maintained. And the truth is that tango is supposed to be sexy. It is the dance of attraction and rejection, of temptation and sensation.

All six dancers were fabulous, in total control whether holding a pose or whirling at top speed. They were accompanied by a talented group of musicians and singer Vanina Sol Tagini who ensured the evening moved along at a varied pace.

Tango Pasión was first created 20 years ago and has toured the globe and yet it remains fresh, full of young talent and bursting with energy. It also serves to remind us that very often the most exciting dance shows are not the ones with the celebrities but the ones with the performers who have trained for years to perfect their dance.

Diane Parkes 

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