Tango In the Dark at Fleck Dance Theatre, Toronto's Harbourfront Centre
Toronto Fringe's Next Stage Theatre Festival
A sensually divine dance of life and breath
Please note I hold no background, education, or training in the art of dance.
For this review, I will comment on the theatricality of the presentation.
I think it’s safe to say that if we saw a couple dance the tango, just by the music alone with specific choreographed movements, we would know what they are doing.
I really didn’t know the history of the tango, so I thought I’d better do a quick bit of online research. I discovered the tango is a partner and social dance originating in the 1880s along the Rio de la Plata in the impoverished areas of Argentina and Uruguay which had predominantly African descendants. The tango was frequently practiced in the brothels and bars of ports, where business owners employed bands to entertain their patrons with music. The tango then spread to the rest of the world. Many variations of this dance currently exist around the world.
Just from this superficially brief definition, it appears the tango came from the dust, dirt and grime and, when it spread to the rest of the world, the dance became something exciting and exhilarating whether through participation or just watching.
The release for 'Tango in the Dark' states this film “lights the way through the shadows and mysteries of Buenos Aires and tells a story of two dancers moving to the rhythms of the city night.”
Jacob Marsh’s lusciously gorgeous cinematography becomes a strong feature of this film. He juxtaposes between the dullness of black and white and sharp vivid colours which become hypnotically enhanced through the exquisite sounding music of the Payadora Tango ensemble members of Rebekah Wolkstein, Drew Jurecka, Robert Horvath, and Joseph Phillips.
Alexander Richardson held a mammoth task in both directing, choreographing, and dancing in this film.
Let me just say it’s extraordinary to watch he and his dance partner Erin Scott-Kafadar. ‘Tango in the Dark’ takes place in several locales where Alexander and Scott-Kafadar sometimes represent the shady and unwholesome beginnings from where the tango came up to the present moment where the dance is a stunning work to view.
Final Comments: ‘Tango in the Dark’ is sultry and sexy. At times it becomes a wild entity. At other times, Scott-Kafadar and Alexander breathe an intimate synergy of a heightened and life-giving sensuality of passionate connection.
Worth a look.
‘Tango in the Dark’ presented by Pointe Tango in collaboration with Payadora Tango Ensemble
Directed and Choreographed by Alexander Richardson
Cinematography by Jacob Marsh
Featuring Erin Scott-Kafadar and Alexander Richardson