German Cornejo’s TANGO FIRE

Let the dance enthrall you

By Leeor Adar

It’s a cold winter night in Melbourne, the storm clouds are threatening overhead, but inside the Arts Centre’s Playhouse, there’s a heat emanating from the stage.

Tango Fire

German Cornejo choreographs five couples for over two hours, including himself with the mesmerizing Gisela Galeassi. This show is highly energetic, sensuous, and immersing. By the close of the night, audiences rose to their feet, clapping and cheering for this attractive troupe of skilled dancers. With every effortless movement, Tango Fire was a taste of the Argentinian soul.

Part One of Tango Fire was slow to begin, with the company engaging in a Tango Foxtrot. Soon enough the rhythm, the style and energy quickened, and we were in the thick of varying tangoes. Argentine Tango has many varietals, and the dancers took their audience through these fluid, playful, and at times raw performances that exposed love stories, flirtations and sorrows.

Part One could have easily been dismissed as light entertainment, a nod to the Argentinian dance hall, but as soon as Cornejo and Galeassi stepped out into a midnight scene, with the Quarteto Fuego (the band) to dance a classic tango, we were in no doubt we were in the presence of greatness. Galeassi’s finesse, agility and beauty as a dancer are breathtaking. The eroticism of the dance came to the fore, and it is now undisputed in my mind that the tango in its varying forms is the dance of lovers.

As Tango Fire moved into Part Two, the couples performed independently. Aside from Cornejo and Galeassi, standouts included Ezequiel Lopez and Camila Alegre, who beguiled us in a partnership of heated synchronicity, and Sebastian Alvarez and Victoria Saudelli who performed a modern tango of gymnastic proportions, which conveyed a violence of love that was both beautiful and terrifying.

The standout performance for the troupe was Oblivion, where the pace softened, and the performers costumes embodied the ethereal quality of the tango. It was a tango suspended in time of languid movements, captivating the audience in a dream-like trance for its duration.

Tango Fire is a celebration of tango in its many guises, and a gorgeous troupe of performers with varying qualities to bring it to life. For those who admire the tango, this is an exciting education in its form.

You can catch Tango Fire for its final Melbourne performance on Sunday the 14 of August before it tours to Adelaide, Bendigo, Canberra and Brisbane.