CULTURE

Spectacular Julio Bocca returns to Athens to tango

“I always get involved emotionally when I’m dancing. Argentinean tango is joyful, sensual and very intense,» said Julio Bocca at a press conference on Monday. Immensely popular in Greece and well known to Athenian audiences following various performances at the Herod Atticus Theater and the Athens Concert Hall, the celebrated dancer returns to the Greek capital tonight. The sole performance is scheduled to take place at the Lycabettus Theater, where fans will get the chance to see his Ballet Argentino troupe’s new production, «Bocca Tango,» in which he appears as a soloist. «I am particularly happy to be back in Greece,» Bocca said at the press conference. Born in Buenos Aires in 1967, Bocca started dancing when he was 4. At the age of 18 he won international acclaim as the recipient of the gold metal at Moscow’s International Ballet Contest. He was then engaged by the American Ballet Theater as a soloist, while over the years he has also appeared as a guest soloist in London’s Royal Ballet, the Bolshoi, the Kirov, the Paris Opera Ballet as well as the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Thin, handsome and casually dressed in jeans, Bocca appeared relaxed in Athens despite his flight’s delay. «All over the world people love tango. Something special is happening. Each couple can create something very unique. Personally, I’m romantically involved with my dance partner. If I have to kiss her on stage, I will really kiss her!» he said. Besides Bocca, the other protagonists of «Bocca Tango» are Cecilia Figaredo (the company’s lead female soloist) two singers, and six dancers including Vincenzo Capezzuto, Oliva Lucas, Ariel Casco and Alejandro Parada. They are accompanied by a live eight-member orchestra under the baton of Julian Vat. The show’s choreography was developed by Ana Maria Stekelman, who worked on traditional tangos such as «Corrientes y Esmeralda,» «Padavita,» «Negracha,» «El Dia que me Quieras» and «Naranjo en Flor,» as well as popular Astor Piazzolla compositions such as «Oblivion,» «Invierno Porteno,» «Romance del Diablo,» «Michelangelo 70» and «Anos de Soledad.» Among other pieces, tonight’s show includes a tango featuring two men (for those unfamiliar with the dance’s history, Bocca explained that Argentinean tango had originally developed in Buenos Aires’s poor neighborhoods as a challenge put forward by men toward women); a spectacular solo performed by Bocca, as well as a particularly sensual duo with Cecilia Figaredo. «Bocca Tango» was presented for the first time in the fall of 2002 at the Maipo Theater, one of Buenos Aires’s most renowned traditional theaters. This summer, it is scheduled to tour many countries around the globe. The production’s costumes were designed by Jorge Ferrari and the lighting was developed by Omar Possemato. Lycabettus Theater, 210.722.7209. At 9 p.m.