Those searching for proof of George Bernard Shaw’s view that “dancing is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire legalized by music” need look no further than Tango Fire as it once again returns to Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre.
All the way from Argentina, the troupe’s latest show Flames of Desire is quite possibly the sexiest night in London (that leaves everything to the imagination, anyway). The troupe’s five couples take turns to demonstrate floor-melting individual routines with occasional group numbers and ménages a trois to spice things up.
Behind them, a live band led by singer Jesus Hidalgo adds an authentic aurality to the proceedings. Sure, we know we’re in a concrete box in Holborn, but during the show’s 125-minute running time we feel like we could all be sat in a Buenos Aires bar, such is the close intimacy and fiery atmosphere engendered here.
Flames of Desire is not a straightforward series of couplings, but maybe it should be. There are ensemble numbers featuring six or more dancers, but these never feel more than the sum of the talented parts. Some routines see three dancers performing together but they are awkward affairs; one of the dancers is always looking left out and watching those pieces was almost enough to put one off troilistic notions. Almost.
The real magic of the show happens when there is just one man and one woman on stage (no all-male couples here like in the old days, no sirree). German Conejo’s choreography delivers a never-ending series of breathtaking acrobatic moves: legs fly in and out of each other, the ladies are swung around like so much taffeta and the guys combine speed, strength and poise to thrilling effect. This is a thrilling encounter with much to appeal to fans and dabblers of the terpsichorean arts alike.
Tango Fire’s Flames Of Desire continues at the Peacock Theatre until 14 February. More information can be found on the official website.