Immortal Tango review at Peacock Theatre, London – ‘heartless and disinfected’
If tango doesn’t act as an aphrodisiac, it isn’t tango.
The world-class partnership of German Cornejo and Gisela Galeassis has resulted in many heart-stopping moments over the years, notably with Cornejo’s Tango Fire company. But his attempt to ring the changes in a dance form whose variations are subtle and seductive has gone horribly wrong here. Allegedly exploring Hollywood glamour he creates a musical potpourri that makes no sense whatsoever.
Opening with a tango version of Roxanne (featured in Moulin Rouge) before moving on to Abba’s Gimme Gimme Gimme, Maniac from Flashdance, Skyfall and that bloody theme song that goes on and on from Titanic, it lurches from one overdressed scenario to another.
As always, the simplest duets are the most effective, including a male-on-male sequence that is electrifying. The dazzling technique of Cornejo and Galeassi – whose speed, precision, scissoring legs and spinning catches are closer to extreme acrobatics than formal dance – is rarely in evidence.
When they strut their stuff the temperature rises noticeably but their duets are parcelled out with parsimony. The ensemble work is cluttered and over-fussy, much of the movement obscured by frothy frock horrors and hats. The heavy-handed attempt at comedy is about as funny as a Cirque du Soleil clown and the drag diva antics should be left to The Trocks.
Tango should be aromatic with sweat, hair oil, perfume and sex. This is hollow, heartless and disinfected. Las Vegas tango. Travesty tango.
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