Last Saturday, April 2, the Osterhout Concert Theater was set on fire with passionate tango dances by the touring “Tango Argentina” show, with eight dancers making four dance duos and a quartet of musicians front and center onstage bringing live music. This show is the second-to-last installment of their North America tour.
The show was created through the musical direction and original compositions of Fabrizio Mocata, and choreographers and artistic directors by GD Tango, the professional name for the duo of Guillermo De Fazio and Giovanna Dan, who are in a professional partnership. All three directors also took a large part in the show’s performances with Mocata as the quartet’s pianist and Fazio and Dan as a dance duo. The quartet also includes a violinist, a bandoneon player and a cellist.
“The show was created with the idea of the evolution of tango,” GD Tango wrote in an email. “Every song travels to a different decade, with the music, costumes and style of dancing. Creating the show was a process of getting to know the genuine personalities of the cast and bringing them alive in all the different decades!”
The show opened with a nice, fast, cheery tone, turning slightly dramatic at times. Intersecting with Mocata’s original compositions, which were performed mostly with just the quartet, there were familiar pieces that even a musical novice could pick up, tweaked to fit the dances’ storylines. One especially humorous moment was when Mocata left his piano to join a female dancer, and her dance partner sneaked over to play the piano badly. For a dance novice, this performance dispels a lot of assumptions generally held toward tango: the dances were sexy, yes, but also flirty, romantic in all of its meaning and quite fun overall.
The second part after the break was distinctly more dramatic, with a boleadoras gaucho act by Dan, who is one of the first women to specialize in this act. With two cowboy-like whips, each having an orb on its end, she performed a complicated dance that included acrobatic moves and tapping the orbs in sync with the music. This was perhaps the most unique and memorable act of the night, diverting from the show’s tango dances and live songs. The other acts kept the dramatic and intense pace — the stories were more subdued and sad compared to the light romantic tones during the first part.
After the show, the audience had the chance to meet the trio of directors at the Osterhout Concert Theater’s reception, where they chatted and gave out autographs. When asked about their touring experience, Fazio and Dan gave a delighted response.
“Touring the show around the [United States] has brought us so much joy,” GD Tango wrote in an email. “We had a standing ovation at every show and we are so proud that we were able to achieve a show with so much traditional tango, and so much personality. It’s truly original!”