Full disclosure: before attending Tangomotion at the Oxford Playhouse, I knew absolutely nothing about the tango apart from the famous leg flick, and that it shows up on Strictly Come Dancing every year. This is where the wonderful production really shines - the evening was not made just for dance fans, but for those willing to learn more about the sultry, sensual moves and music. Jeremy Taylor, pianist for the Tango Siempre quartet, paused between dances to explain what we had just witnessed on stage - whether he was regaling us with stories of famous composers, explaining the difference between traditional and contemporary dancing, or describing very specific musical notes (you had to be there), it was a fantastic addition to the show. Knowing the context of the dancing performed by Alexandra, Paola, Richard and Guillermo, meant that we had a fuller view of this mesmerizing dance movement.
Over two hours, we enjoyed the slower seductive waltz-style tango as well as the fast-moving milonga tango (the difference between them was one of the many facts I learned during my visit to the Playhouse). We were also told that it wasn’t an accordion player on stage, but in fact it was Julian Rowlands playing the bandoneon - a unique instrument of which very few musicians are accomplished in the
A special mention should also go to the styling of the dancers. Their outfits, albeit often glittery like the ones you see on Strictly, were also a visual aid to assist in showcasing the style of dance we were about to witness. When Alexandra came out in denim hot pants, we knew it was contemporary, when Paola wore a lacy, skin-tight catsuit, we knew it was a sensuous number. I can’t review this show without also acknowledging how phenomenal the men’s Bugsy Malone-style wide legged suits were too… And Guillermo’s hat to top it off? Perfection!
Overall, I couldn’t recommend this show enough. If you like dance, and have time to learn a thing or two about tango that isn’t from BBC celebrities, you will love Tangomotion. The fact that they ended with an encore of La Cumparsita (Google it, you’ll know exactly what I mean) was the icing on the cake. Apparently there’s a tango salon in