Flash of Tango and the Devil's Baroque

Contradicting the title, the Devil’s Baroque dance came first. The troupe appeared wearing full-length capes with sultry gazes. The Fringe brochure is not wrong when it talks of ‘hot-blooded jealousy’, in the Devil’s Baroque the dancers acted out seemingly random acts of violence from the slightest glance or touch from their co-performers. The Flash of Tango dropped the violence for sexy coolness. The dancers pouted and held their chins high as they swirled and tugged each other two and fro, occasionally stopping for an leg entangled embrace. The dancers captivate the audience; it was hard to look away when there was such fiery passion being played out by a dozen pairs in right front of our eyes.

The dancers captivate the audience; it was hard to look away when there was such fiery passion being played out by a dozen pairs in right front of our eyes.

At times the plot was hard to follow (if there was one), but that didn’t stop the audience from loving each dramatic swoon, red-ribboned eradication and flamboyant fisty-cuff. Female and male dancers alike propelled themselves around the space, sometimes suspended on high or crawling en route. Despite the odd pair of strangely coloured trousers and tights, this amateur group really looked the part.

Still, the gothic outfits, and later on, black and white get-ups, would have been better served on an indoor stage with contrasting lighting, rather than a cobbled street. The synchronised steps of such a large group (about twenty-five performers) would also have looked fantastic on a uniform, dark floor. The electric cable-covers seemed to do more harm than good, and several of the performers tripped up, often nearly toppling over completely. The long capes were an additional hazard, as well as the high-heels which seem obligatory for female tango dancers. However, they appeared relaxed and overcame what few wobbles there were with smiles and improvisation. Despite the group dancing to the same track twice (Santa Maria by The Gotan Project), which is a little unimaginative perhaps, the show was mesmerising, dramatic fun. Well worth a look.

Reviews by Felicity Harris

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Hot-blooded jealousy, flashes of danger and the irresistible, sultry rhythm of Tango combine with dark, gothic Baroque in this dance theatre drama. Think Piña Bausch meets Jacobean tragedy!