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Sunday, May 27, 2018
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOTango Buenos Aires, “Spirit of Argentina,” 8 p.m. Oct. 27, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOTango Buenos Aires, “Spirit of Argentina,” 8 p.m. Oct. 27, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

It takes two: Tango Buenos Aires brings dance ‘Spirit’ to Miller Symhony Hall

Thursday, October 26, 2017 by CAMILLE CAPRIGLIONE Special to The Press in Focus

Direct from Argentina, Tango Buenos Aires performs a sizzling and sensual voyage through dance in its new show “Spirit of Argentina.”

Tango is a culture in and of itself, possessing its own gestures, language, vocabulary and aesthetics. Audiences the world over embrace the intensity of tango and its expressive movements. Tango Buenos Aires dance company is hailed as the most authentic and uncompromising representative of tango.

Tango Buenos Aires performs “Spirit of Argentina” at 8 p.m. Oct. 27, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

Founded in the 1980s, Tango Buenos Aires has enjoyed tremendous success in its homeland. The company traveled to the United States in the summer of 1986 to take part in the Latin American Festival at the Delacorte Theatre in New York City’s Central Park.

Since then, the troupe’s extensive tours have included Mexico, El Salvador, Germany, Spain, Ecuador, Finland, New Zealand, China, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Stated The Washington Post of a Tango Buenos Aires performance: “... repeatedly crafted swirling, fast-paced tapestries of movement, laced with proud postures and sensual couplings.”

In 2005, Julian Vat, Argentina’s most prolific composer and leading musician, took on the role of music director for the company.

The two-part “Spirit of Argentina” show includes 25 dances chronicling the life of Argentina’s beloved “King of Tango,” Carlos Gardel.

Gardel, born Charles Romuald Gardes, 1890-1935, was a French-Argentine singer, songwriter, composer and actor, and the most prominent figure in the history of tango. He created hundreds of masterful tangos, some with lyricist and long-time collaborator Alfredo Le Pera.

Gardel died in a plane crash at the height of his career, becoming an archetypal hero who was mourned throughout Latin America. For many, Gardel embodied the spirit and soul of the tango.

In a phone interview while on tour, Maria del Rosario Bauza, owner and artistic director of Tango Buenos Aires, says the show has eight dancers, five musicians and one vocalist. “Spirit of Argentina” is touring 45 United States cities.

“[Spirit of Argentina] has been two years in the creation,” says Bauza. “Hector Falcón, who passed away just recently, was the choreographer.”

Bauza, born in Argentina, is the third generation manager of D.A.N.I.E.L., Artists & Concertos, an international leader in managing soloists, classical musicians, singers, conductors, orchestras, dance companies and fine arts media productions.

In 1988, the Minister of Culture for Argentina honored Bauza by requesting that she be a cultural ambassador for the tango, with the creation of groups such as Tango Buenos Aires.

[“This show] is about tango being the spirit of Argentina,” says Bauza.

Dance performances in “Spirit of Argentina” present a visual biography of Gardel’s life, depicting his journey from Argentina to Paris to New York. Compositions include “Delinquent,” “Loves of a Student,” “Gardel and his Passions” (soccer, boxing and women), “Duet of Love” and the tragic “Death of an Angel.”

“Carlos Gardel is considered the voice of tango in Argentina,” Bauza says.

Tango is seductive, dramatic and, oftentimes, playful, embodying all facets of human nature. Bauza observes as to why tango is an art form that is universally adored by fans.

“I think it is because there is so much passion and connectivity in the dance,” says Bauza. “Also, it is a dance that everyone can do to some level.”

Tickets: Miller Symphony Hall box office, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown; allentownsymphony.org; 610-432-6715