Leading Ladies of Tango

Igor Polk, 2006 December 14

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It is out ! My article is in the TangoNoticias magazine. It is called "THE LEADING LADIES OF TANGO PRODUCTION", but my title was "Tango Night with Leading Ladies"



It happened. Long awaited production. There is a poster on my wall: Tango Mujer dance tango. It is on my wall as long as I learn the dance. I bought it when I made a run on shops to strip them from the videos and to find finally what tango is about...

Leading Ladies of Tango at Herbst Theatre in San FranciscoI do not make living with tango. I can not care less about praising someone secretly dreaming that she will dance with me. This is a blog, a personal record which is more about the author then about what happened around him. It means that even not knowing well the local San Francisco theatrical universe I am still able to write about it.

Did I like the show? I loved it! Sophisticated, subtle, erotic, intelligent, so feminine, romantic, exquisite, almost surrealistic smooth mix of music, singing, dance, pantomime, visual effects and shocking surprises. There is a solid nucleus around which everything is rotating: a woman. Her feelings, expectations, and image. An ideal one presented harmonically with the art of twenty. Pure pleasure for feelings and mind.

I have recognized a lot of emotions and phenomena familiar to dancers of tango, women or men - it is like that in the real life happened and amplified on the stage. But if I wouldn't be a dancer, it weren't changed anything. Music. Dramatic voice and image of Silvana Deluigi. How about tango performed on an harp!? Perfect tango, dear our modern tango musicians. Or on a bass only? Most beloved number for a San Francisco man - trembling harmony. In a flash, as a lightning I have recognized the dynamic pose in the midst of the movements - that one, on my wall. Many, many surprises - they are so generous - tons of their dance experience and ideas are concentrated in the numerous unique numbers.

And such a sweet perfect ending - exactly like milonga ends in the darkness of the night. The whole performance streams like a dance, like a milonga, and like the whole life. They have so many similarities, these things of so different scales.

I knew many of the artists. I have learned from them, I watched their tapes. Many times. I even danced with some of them. Of course, it makes a special twist to the story, I went to the theatre with excitement. And the show greatly exceeded my expectations.

This is a unique production, and it is probably not a coincidence that it happened in San Francisco. There is something so true about the art when after a performance a spectator can come to a dance club and dance with a star of the show. It is a live art ! That is what we have in tango !

How can we say what is really good? When one can say proudly "I was there and I saw it with my own eyes!" Or may be if one wants to see it again? At the last second of the show I wanted to see it all again immediately! I still have my chance. Looking forward for more..

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There are 31 number in the show containing numerous surprises. Each one is unique in some manner, and many are unique on the global scale. I want to discover only 3 secrets of this show.

First. This is the first show ever featuring the real tango music. Listen, and you will know what I am talking about.

Second. This is the very first show, to the best of my knowledge, featuring highly professional and renown classical musicians performing tango music right.

Third. There were made other shows, based on ballet, or so to speak "stage tango". None of them is the real tango. This show presents the tango as it was and as it is actually danced now by people on the dance floor and most importantly how it is felt. So vididly! How reach it is! You might not believe it, but that is how we actually dance!

The production is much more than about dancing. It is multilayered and multidimensional. How to put it... As if all sorts of art making a dance together constantly changing style and "the partner" making pirouettes all around, but never the less staying in the certain line streaming from the very first note to the very last ...

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Shortly: Leading Ladies of Tango. A historical first performance at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. Producer Ted Viviani, Artistic Coordinator Allyson Manta. Dancers: Tango Mujer: Sharna Fabiano, Brigitta Winkler, Fabienne Bongard, Rebecca Shulman, Valeria Solomonoff, Angelika Fischer, Tango Con Fusion: Cristy Cote, Debbie Goodwin, Pier Voulkos, Chelsea Eng, Charity Lebron, Carolina Rozensztroch, Singer: Silvana Deluigi, Musicians: Polly Ferman, Viviana Guzman, Anna Maria Mendieta, Bettina Hartl, Eleonora Ferreyra, Yung-Chiao Wei, Ina Paris.

Here is another video. Solo of Silvana Deluigi. Nostalgias. "... the YOUTUBE clip John Campbell recorded and edited as our official videographer. This piece is the highly emotional, Nostalgias, by Enrique Cadiamo and Juan Carlos Cobian; arranged by Cholo Montironi. It highlights both the excellent Leading Ladies of Tango Orchestra, under the direction of Polly Ferman, and Silvana's magnificent voice and significant acting abilities. It is the closing number of the show's 1st Act."

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In Details:

Thinking about Jazz singers and modern Tango singers, Silvana Deluigi came as a greatest surprise to me. She is really the one. With such a dramatic expression, visual appeal, range of the voice she is without doubt the best modern Tango singer.

Tango Mujer group, combine great modern tango dancing with seemingly infinite flow of ideas, creativeness, and theatrical inventions. Shocking! This is the only group making a world-class performance on the basis of the real tango the way it is actually danced on the dance floors. And walls..

Sharp beauty of Chelsea Eng and Cristy Cote are combined with artistry of Debbie Goodwin, and Pier Voulkos in Tango Con Fusion.

Have your heard a perfect tango with harp? Anna Maria Mendieta. Jazz-tango solo on bass? Petite Yung-Chiao Wei. A flute which sounds like an orchestra? Viviana Guzman. With direction of Polly Ferman performing tango in soft classical manner, but with the penetrating rhythm.

Even though tango is the theme of the production it is not the major axis of the performance. Dancing of arts together, virtuoso combination of many things in one, modern interpretations, intense sophistication, and freedom of the performers, that what gives the show the spirit and artistic uniqueness.

Each individual number has been made and staged by the performers. The person who put everything together and made the whole thing vibrant is Allyson Manta. She've made a tremendous job and her artistry deserves a special recognition.

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"The leading ladies of tango think men are just dandy..."    Ha-ha-ha !!! The whole show is about desperate search of a perfect MAN !


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Tango in the Herbst Theatre
December 13, 14, 15, 16

Dancing companies:
Tango Mujer, Tango Con*Fusion,
Pianist Polly Ferman, Seven-Piece Orchestra,
Singer Silvana Deluigi ( Argentina ) ( 1, 2 )
Artistic Coordinator Allyson Manta

All women performance: 20 women on stage !!!

Details and Tickets at  www.leadingladiesoftango.com

Polly Ferman,
Viviana Guzman,
Anna Maria Mendieta,
Bettina Hartl,
Eleonora Ferreyra,
Yung Chiao Wei,
Ina Paris


San Francisco December Night - good for Theatre and Tango!  

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It is out ! My article is in the TangoNoticias magazine. It is called "THE LEADING LADIES OF TANGO PRODUCTION", but my title was "Tango Night with Leading Ladies"
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My name is Igor Polk. I dance Argentine tango in San Francisco.

Copyright©2003-2006 Igor Polk
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