Keeping the milonga beat

Perfil – July 7 2013


Dance, video, and photography come together in a venture showing at La Boca’s Teatro de la Ribera
Tango: In addition to the choreographies, there are visual materials by Nora Lezano portraying the reality of tango.

Saturday July 13 sees the debut of Social Tango, a project that not only combines dance and photography, including both contemporary and tango expressions, but also offers the chance for many spectators to pay a visit to one of Buenos Aires’s less frequented theaters. With performances Thursdays through Sundays, the show will be staged at the Teatro de la Ribera, run by the Buenos Aires Theater Complex. Located at 1821 Avenida Pedro de Mendoza, the theater lies in the very heart of the La Boca district, just a stone’s throw from Caminito Street, and bears all the hallmarks of Benito Quinquela Martín. This medium-sized venue painted in the district’s local folk colors, with murals by the famous artist, often stages tango-related shows. In this case, Social Tango presents 14 dancers directed by Agustina Videla performing to tracks by Francisco Canaro, Osvaldo Fresedo and electronic tango. The choreography is complemented by the projection of a video by Nora Lezano.

The choreographer Agustina Videla, like many other artists of the 2X4 rhythm, has built a successful career abroad, and Social Tango now gives Argentine audiences the opportunity to discover her work. She will be accompanied by the costume designer Renata Schussheim, who is virtually a guarantee of imagination, originality and elegance. The inclusion of a team of amateur tangueros serves to balance the relationship between the protagonists, who are professional dancers, and the true essence of tango, which is experienced in the milongas. Thus, both the video projected as part of the show and the photos exhibited in the theater foyer – all visual materials created by the photographer Nora Lezano – portray not sculptural dancers but instead people of all ages and professions, with different body types, who live this dance as part of their everyday experience, that is to say as part of their social life rather than as an artistic or theatrical phenomenon. So here we find old men with paunches and even bald heads, perhaps wearing just simple trousers and a shirt with no jacket, who feel the embrace and the eight beat walk in a way the many professionals long to do and they dance without pause.