Anyone who loves dance must get themselves immediately over to City Center to see Tanguera, which features the most sensational dancing you’ll likely see this year on or off Broadway. In the spirit of musicals like Moving Out and Contact, this Argentinian show tells its timeless tale with 90 minutes worth of exquisitely stylized storytelling, powerhouse singing, extraordinarily dynamic choreography, and stunning performances.
The most shocking thing about Tanguera, besides its brilliant execution, is its stunning familiarity. We’re not talking about the plot, although its story is essentially a simple, classic cliché, but rather the visceral and visually stunning form in which it is told.
A beautiful, innocent French girl, Giselle (Rocio de Los Santos) arrives in Buenos Aires and immediately meets and falls in love with a handsome dockworker, Lorenzo (Esteban Domenichini), who feels exactly the same way. But before their love can be requited, a gangster and his gang whisk her away and turn her into a prostitute. Eventually, she emerges as a nightclub star, but she still remains under the thumb of the powerful crime boss Guadencio (Oscar Martinez Pey). But the love between Giselle and Lorenzo cannot be denied. He eventually fights for his love in the musical’s thrilling finale.
The tango captures in its very essence that thing that we most often associate with dance: sex. Other dances may suggest, evoke, and conjure the concept that they exist as sexual metaphors. But the tango doesn’t sublimate its sexuality, it revels in it and exalts it. When performed, as it is in Tanguera, it is also so breathtakingly beautiful that it becomes art.
The company is blessed with an ensemble of over 30 beautiful and talented performers who command the stage whenever they are given the chance. But special mention must be made of Pey, who is so charismatic you simply cannot take your eyes off of him. He’s a first-class tango dancer, but he’s so riveting as an actor that he’d hold your attention in this piece even if he didn’t dance.