Sunday, June 22, 2008

Red Hot Tango

June 13, 2008
In conjunction with the bigger Spoleto USA, Piccolo Spoleto offers Charleston Ballet Theater's "Twisted Tango" as it's centerpiece.
Fermenting since January 08, “Twisted Tango,” has been tantalizing audiences in smoky bars and intimate nightclubs, growing a loyal fan following for this new, “cabaret ballet.” Taking off the stiff tutu, strapping on the high heels, Charleston Ballet loosens up and brought ballet to the people.

Running concurrently with the growing interest in traditional Argentinean tango, the Charleston Ballet mixed in the more grounded, sweeping steps with pirouettes and arabesques. Especially the arabesques, they’re made more masculine-sexier-by the male dancers. Due to the high heels and longer, tighter dresses, the female and male dancers are dependent on each other for support than traditional ballet. As they say in tango, the partners are dancing for each other. Therefore, the couple works together as a unit. Unlike in ballet, where the male dancer supports the female dancer, the spot-light and the central story are focused on the couple. This is what makes the tango sexy. The audience witnesses the couple’s attraction and spats then reconciliation.

Since ballet involves a whole troupe, Twisted Tango, fleshes out a relationship into a whole story. The first act is about the battle grounds of dating when the troupes of the supporting male and female dancers interact. The second act focuses on a couple-and the woman’s lover watching from the sideline. As usual, it starts with a lovers’ spat, rebounding with a third lover, reuniting and fighting off the spurned lover. It wasn’t the movement itself that make this production hot. It was the intriguing story development arc that kept the audience glued to its seats. Tango’s passionate drama heating up ballets’ reserved gracefulness is what makes Twisted Tango spicy.

No comments: