Bocca Tango

2010 April 24

Make no mistake. This is ballet. Julio Bocca is a famous ballet dancer, and was praised by Juan Carlos Copes in Tango: Bayle Nuestro, so to watch his take on tango, Bocca Tango was intriguing. (You can get it @ ebay)

What I didn’t know before watching it was that this performance leads me back to the very beginnings of my own tango journey. It was performed at the Maipo theatre in 2001, and I think it was on at the time of my first visit to Buenos Aires.  The choreography is  by Ana María Stekelman that also choreographed some of the numbers in Carlos Saura‘s Tango. A movie that had such a great impact on me and my wife that we consider it partly responsible for us taking up tango for real.

The music selection in Bocca Tango covers a lot of tango classics and some Piazzolla, and overall I liked it very much. The show was well put together, showing a variety of music and dance. In particular I liked the interpretation of Balada para un loco (!), which was fairly simple, but touching. Some of the most tango like dancing is a little strange when you are used to regular, improvised tango, because it is danced with ballet technique. Mostly it worked out fine, interesting and at its best moving.  Not everything, of course, but some parts were striking, some funny (for example Bocca doing a gancho on a table :-). Some parts similar to the choreography in the Saura movie. And the last black dress was stunning!

The technical quality of the dvd was a bit disappointing, the colors were rather bleak and the hand held camera was a bit annoying at times. The cover contained very little information, so you basically have to go to the web to find out more.

If you have an open mind and think you could appreciate ballet tango (literally), this is what you should get.

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