Sat, Dec 27, 2003 - Page 16 News List

Russo tangos back into town

The return of Gustavo Russo to Taiwan with his tango troupe is eagerly anticipated

By Yu Sen-lun  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tango is all about the entanglement and tension between lovers, says star dancer Gustavo Russo, left, with a troupe member from King of Tango.


Following two popular tango shows in Taipei in previous years -- Tango Passion in 1997, Forever Tango last year, there is another heavy-weight Tango troupe from Argentina coming to Taiwan -- the King of Tango, led by renowned dancer Gustavo Russo.

The troupe will play eight consecutive shows in Taiwan's four cities.

Apart from being one of the best Tango troupes in the world, which has sold out shows in London, Vienna, Madrid, Brussels and Berlin, there is another attraction to King of Tango. The repertoire, titled The Tango Seduction, will largely use the music of Nuevo Tango master Astor Piazzolla. Taiwan and Hong Kong have recently gone through a craze for Piazzolla's music and it is expected that the show will attract Piazzolla music fans.

Seven musicians, including the accordianist and one singer will accompany 13 dancers to present a show with rich flavors and elegant body movements.

What is tango, exactly? For star dancer Gustavo Russo, the point is to express the entanglement and tension of love.

Those who went to the performance of Tango Passion in 1992 will find Gustavo Russo a familiar face. He was the young first-seat dancer in the show that played 11 years ago in Taipei. Russo is the winner of the Estelares Del Mar (Star of the Sea), a top tango competition in Argentina for seven consecutive years.

He also won the title of Precio Del Argentina, that was presented by the Buenos Aires Academy.

After a string of successful world tours and a short period performing in the Broadway productions, Russo recruited top dancers from various tango troupes in Argentine and formed his own "King of Tango" troupe in 2001.

The show follows a love story that takes place in a pub in Buenos Aires' harbor area. According to Russo it is a story about jealousy and passion.

Performance notes:

What: The Tango Seduction, by King of Tango dance troupe

When and Where: 7:30pm, Dec. 30 to Jan. 3 at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei; 7pm, Jan 4, at Kaohsiung International Container Arts Festival; 7:30pm, Jan. 5 at Chungshan Hall in Taichung City; 7:30pm, Jan. 6, at the Art Museum of Chungli City, Taoyuan County.

Tickets: NT$400 to NT$2500, through Era ticketing outlets, telephone (02)2709 3788.

Act one of "The Tango Seduction" covers the origin and the history of tango styles. The stage, decorated as an old fashioned bar by the harbor, has the dancers playing roles from different social classes, all expressing their sentiment through dancing. Here, tango is a direct, collective expression of the emotions of European


Act two of the show is the "Tango Nuevo." This newly styled tango has now turned into an art form, in terms of dance steps and music. On the stage there will be a giant mirror to create illusory images of the dancers. Piazzolla's music will harmonize with the more complicated steps of the seven pairs to produce a thrillingly rich image on stage.

Russo will be paired with Samanta Garcia, who has performed in Broadway productions such as Les Miserables, Cats and Miss Saigon.

The musical director of the troupe, Fernanado Marzan, also has an impressive background. He was the composer and music director for Madonna's Evita and one of his recent works is Bedita Buenos Aires, co-composed with Japanese musician Taro Hakase.

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