Infused with the fiery intensity of primitive emotions, tango throbs with a vital life force unlike any other art form.
From razor-sharp leg flicks to breath-catching body lifts, this Argentinian-born beauty steams up any stage it graces.
And what better way to bring the passionate legend of that country’s famous first lady, Eva Perón, to life than through the most dramatic dance and music of her culture?
This weekend, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall plays host when Tango Buenos Aires returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts with four performances of “Song of Eva Perón.” Renowned worldwide for its virtuosic authenticity, the Argentinian company traces Perón’s journey from poverty to power through the 1930’s until her tragic demise in 1952 in this daring full-length work.
It is, in a word, “unique,” says Artistic Director Lucrecia Laurel of the show she was asked to conceive along with General Director Rosario Bauza.
A familiar story in an unusual format, what can audiences expect from “Song of Eva Perón”
“We always show our audience original tango dancing and music,” Laurel wrote in a recent email interview from Buenos Aires. “Tango evolves, as any other art form, so we have tango music created for the show by (Music Director) Fernando Marzan and original choreography by Hector Falcon. Working together with musical director and choreographer, we created ‘Song of Eva Perón’ to show tango in all its ways, as well as the life of Eva.”
Tango classics were carefully chosen with respect to their period as well, Laurel points out.
“For example, to give historical coherence we are playing and dancing Piazzolla, but only in the 2nd act, since it
corresponds to that time frame. Older and original tangos will be appreciated in the first part. Audiences will be able to appreciate classicals like la cumparsita, as well as original tangos created especially for the show.”
“At the beginning we were concerned, because we did not want to fall into politics” she explains. “So I started brainstorming for the script for the show, reading all of Eva’s biographies, and seeing how we could fit her in stage. Of course we were aware of and knew the monster musical production by (Andrew Lloyd) Webber, and films like the one of Madonna. All of this fell into politics for us, and was impossible to equal from a production point of view.”
Staying within the necessarily simpler format of tango for “Song of Eva Perón,” and focusing on historically accurate music and dance as a vehicle to imbue the drama with freshness, Laurel began to create, striving to understand Perón and her story.
“What I found amazing about Eva were her transformations along the years,” Laurel recalled. “I wanted to put this into evidence: from a humble adolescent with real wishes to the most impactful first lady of all times.”
Tango Buenos Aires performs “Song of Eva Perón” in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday, January 18 at 2 and 7 p.m.
Tickets and information are available at SCFTA.org or by calling (714) 556-2787.