CULTURE

Nights of tango at the Megaron

The Tango Passion dance troupe has brought a glimpse of the soul of Argentina to Athens for three performances at the Athens Concert Hall (the Megaron). Accompanied by the Sextet Mayor musicians, the 25-member group of singers and dancers is presenting a spectacular two-hour musical. The dance, the tango, first came into being in the red light district of Buenos Aires more than 100 years ago. The sensuous dance became part of life in the crowded slums. Eventually it moved beyond the confines of the slums, attracting devotees from all classes and earning renown in other countries. Legendary singer Carlos Gardel and the unforgettable tango scene with Rudolph Valentino in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse also helped spread the fame of this dance, known as the soul of Argentina. Though the tango adapted slightly over the years, incorporating more graceful movements, it never shed its characteristic passion. The only limits to the language of tango, apart from some rule of style and form, are the limits of your imagination and passion, says Mel Howard, the group’s artistic director. He describes the tango as the eternal clash between man and woman; the definitive erotic act in its most stylized form. He arranged this production to highlight the power that the tango still has to move audiences. Hector Zaraspe, a famous Argentinean dancer, choreographed the numbers that the Tango Passion troupe will perform at the Athens Music Hall. The music is performed by the Sextet Mayor, which has become synonymous with the tango. The musicians have been working together for 27 years. They have attended all the important tango festivals, recorded all the masterpieces and accompanied many musicals. Jose Libertella and Louis Stazo play the bandoneon, Mario Abramovic and Euardo Balzac play violin and Oswaldo Olisinio plays double bass. Together with the Sextet Mayor are Oscar Palermo on piano, and Jorge Orlando and Annibal Gluzman Becker on keyboards. Guillermo Galve provides the vocals. The brilliant costumes are designed by Lucio Galano, and the dramatic lighting is by Fran Rodriguez. Tango Passion first appeared on Broadway in 1994. Since then they have had several successful tours abroad. Their first appearance at the Athens Concert Hall in February 1999 was sold out. The performances, sponsored by the ALTEC Group, are part of the Gefyres (Bridges) series that will introduce this year’s Christmas celebrations at the Athens Concert Hall.