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We humans do love our rituals. When an extended family gathers for the holidays, familiar traditions promise a comforting respite from an increasingly complex, chaotic world. Still, realistically, troubles and fears refuse to be left behind. They surface like unwelcome guests. So do resentments and stinging remarks born of deep knowledge. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, you wonder: ..

After a tryout run in Chicago, 34 previews and 746 performances on Broadway, and a tour launch in Buffalo, “On Your Feet!” has finally opened in the place where Cuban-born music superstars Gloria and Emilio Estefan made their dreams come true: Miami. At Friday’s red carpet opening at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, with the Estefans and their extended family in atte..

Whether the comedy is high or low, performer-writer Steve Martin has been making moviegoers, “Saturday Night Live” fans and theater lovers laugh for more than half a century – hard to believe it’s been that long, but he started early. Martin’s way with both cerebral jokes and physical comedy is abundantly on display in “The Underpants,” his 2002 adaptation of Carl Sternheim’s once-ban..

Robert Schenkkan’s “Building the Wall” begins as a wary conversation between two strangers: Rick, a white male convict awaiting a likely death sentence, and Gloria, a black female historian and college professor. For 90 minutes, the two talk. She probes; he explains and justifies and slowly paints a picture of a man-made Seventh Circle of Hell. By the time the play ends, the audience ..

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ award-winning play “An Octoroon” layers an antebellum melodrama with 21st-century parlance and perspective. The result is an innovative play-within-a-play that skillfully reminds us of slavery’s horrible past and its ever-present legacy. Area Stage Company’s production, thoughtfully directed by John Rodaz, brings together a talented cast to ensure this melodra..

Even before the election that transformed billionaire reality TV star Donald J. Trump into the 45th president of the United States, playwright Robert Schenkkan was so disturbed by the candidate’s anti-immigrant rhetoric that he decided to respond. Not with a Tweet. Not with an opinion-page essay. The Pulitzer Prize winner spoke back to candidate Trump with a full-length play. “Building..

“Baño de Luna,” written and directed by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and presented by Arca Images and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, marks the debut of the Spanish-language version of “Bathing in Moonlight,” the original English production that debuted at the prestigious McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J., in 2016. Performed by a stellar cast in Spanish..

Rafael Nofal’s play “El tiempo de la mandarinas” (“Season for Tangerines”) tackles the very relevant and disturbing theme of human trafficking. Produced by Antiheroes Project, this moving play is in its last week at Artefactus Teatro, a well-purposed black box and gallery space in a smattering of warehouses in Kendall. Nofal’s text removes overt violence and male characters fr..

Joshua Harmon’s savagely funny “Bad Jews” is an emotional cage match set in a pricey Manhattan studio apartment. The combatants are Daphna Feygenbaum (Hannah Benitez), a soon-to-be Vassar grad who plans to move to Israel, marry a man no one in the family has met and become a rabbi, and her cousin Liam Haber (Joseph Paul Pino), a master’s degree candidate and atheist who intends to..

The play begins, as it must, with the velvet voice of Nat King Cole crooning “Mona Lisa.” After all, how many paintings inspire an Oscar-winning song? For that matter, how many masterpieces survive damage, theft and the rapacious covetousness of collectors for more than half a millennium? Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Gioconda,” popularly known as the Mona Lisa, is that inspi..

Estampas Porteñas Tango Brings Passion, Drama to South Miami


Photo: Antonio Fresco
Written by: Diana Dunbar
Article Rating

Tango, one of the most democratic forms of music and dance, grew out of the diverse working class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires in the late 1800s. The rich blending of different cultures mixed with local music produced unique sounds and dances born from the displacement and loneliness of immigrants in a strange place.

Estampas Porteñas Tango Company embodies that essence, which will be on display when the company arrives at the South-Miami Dade Cultural Center on Saturday. It was founded in 1996 by Carolina Soler, a ballet dancer and choreographer, who performed with numerous ballet troupes including the esteemed Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires. She also studied tango with well-known masters in Buenos Aires and has danced with various tango groups.

DeseosStories of Longing and Desire presents a theatrical performance filled with expressive dance, soul searching music and a compelling narrative: a young woman (Margot) leaves the countryside of Argentina for the fleeting promises of Buenos Aires. Estampas Porteñasinfuses her experiences with a variety of Argentine dance styles including the exciting malambo of the gauchos (cowboys), whose use of the boleadores (a strap with balls attached that’s used to entwine and immobilize animals) echoes the intwining and sharp movements of the dancers’ legs. Deseos reveals a journeyacross the cityscape of Buenos Aires: a train station, docks, a barrio, a brothel and a ballroom. All seen through projections that transports the dancers and audience alike back to the Argentina of the 1930s and 1940s.

Margot’s flight from her rural home to the big city of Buenos Aires is a storyline that encapsulates the audience in a time and place that helped develop this unique genre. Tango and Argentina are almost synonymous; and Deseos is a comprehensive travelogue, touching upon places associated with an art form that pulls and wraps people together. This is seen from the opening scene in the village square, where a group of men compete in who can perform the most intricate footwork. The festivities continue with flirtatious dance steps, zapateos (foot stomping), ganchos, malambo twists and singing.

The village square gives way to a train station in the city (with the use of a backdrop of images created by a 3-D projection), the vibrant sounds of the city are heard as newspaper sellers shout out the news and announce a milonga (dance party) that evening. Along the way to the milonga Margot witness a reos- a street gang fight. She finds her way to a cabaret and her adventures (or misadventures) continue to unfold through the intricacies of tango.

Meanwhile, Margot’s boyfriend, Charlo, has arrived in the city seeking her. Due to unfortunate circumstances Margot finds herself in a house of prostitution, where she performs a seductive dance with the other women of the house. Margot and Charlo engage in a game of seek and find throughout the city. They both arrive at a nightclub where everyone is dancing, but disguised by masks. In this anonymous atmosphere dancers turn, glide forward, stop and make abrupt reversal of movements as legs whip around bodies to the music of Piazzolla. This is the city where lovers reunite and the tango consumes a people whether in the 1940s or 2016.

Estampas Porteñas Tango Company, Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8:00 p.m.; South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center; 10950 S.W. St., Cutler Bay; tickets $27.50-$60; www.smdcac.org.

 


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