Milonga for my loves

La Nación – July 12 2013

Gabriel Plaza

In Buenos Aires’s La Boca district, an exquisite show by Agustina Videla and Nora Lezano highlights tango’s spirit of initiation

The car crawls along the quayside in La Boca, weaving its way past the almost ghostly geography: ships run aground in oily water, kids hanging out on streetcorners, the noses of abandoned cranes peeking out from thick fog that hangs over the Riachuelo. Nestling beside Caminito Street, the Teatro de la Ribera – Riverside Theater – is surrounded by this dreamlike, cinematographic atmosphere of the tango classic “Fog on the Riachuelo.” Inside the theater where the final rehearsal for Social Tango is being held – the show by Agustina Videla and Nora Lezano which opens tonight – the song by Cadicamo and Cobián rings out, in the gypsy voice of El Cigala. It’s like a scene from a movie: a voyage of initiation into the heart of tango. The Italian-style theater hall where the work is being staged is empty: there are just three spectators, sitting in different rows: Agustina Videla, Ramón de Oliveira, and Nora Lezano, who, along with Mayra Galante, are the factotums of this production combining tango, dance, and video. They are watching a run through of the show, without costumes or lighting, but the staging shines through, with its sophisticated observation of milonguero codes, its musical selection blending with efficiency and rigor tangos by traditional 1940s orchestras and numbers by Django Reinhardt, and its choreographic austerity, which, like Nora Lezano’s photos hanging in the foyer, reveals only what is essential. All these elements come together in this depiction of the transformational journey undertaken by someone who sets foot in the world of the milonga for the first time.
Photo on special loan from Nora Lezano, depicting the show’s cinematic feel


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