A Taste of Buenos Aires in Luis Bravo’s ‘Forever Tango’ Featuring Anna Trebunskaya & Dmitry Chaplin
Take a virtual trip to the smoky clubs of Buenos Aires via stellar performances by the entire cast of Luis Bravo’s ‘FOREVER TANGO’ now through January 10, 2016 at San Francisco’s newly remodeled Herbst Theatre. Starring ‘Dancing with the Stars’ alums Anna Trebunskaya and Dmitry Chaplin, the production is top notch. Classic and modern (nuevo) tango dances are interspersed with vocal performances by Marcela Rios and instrumental pieces by an onstage 10-piece orchestra anchored by the bandoneón – the accordion-like instrument that is the mainstay of tango music. FOREVER TANGO features 12 world-class tango dancers in an evening that celebrates the passionate music and dance of Argentina.
The choreography is breathtaking. The lifts and twirls are full of power and artistry. At its essence, tango is about the advances and retreats of desire. Male characters chase or possess female characters through elegant, authoritative movements. Women alternately seduce or reject their pursuers with the turn of a cheek. And yet, who knew there was room for a bit of humor? Luis Bravo serves up dashes of amusement with ‘slapstick tango’ sequences starring a Chaplin-esque character who chases or is chased by the woman of his dreams (or nightmares). Taken together, the entire evening is a delightful journey from one Buenos Aires neighborhood to another.
GEV caught up with director and stars backstage at the VIP Take-a-Selfie-with-the Stars (well worth the additional cost to get up close and personal with the lovely cast).
1. From where did you draw your ideas to conceive this production?
It was back in 1990 while I was visiting Argentina when I decided to start working on this idea. Although having been performing as a classic cellist since I was a child and being part of many major symphony orchestras in my country and in the United States, I decided to take a break from my career and mount this production which is more related to my culture and idiosyncrasy.
2. What do you most want people to understand about the tango?
Tango is a culture with its own art. Artistically, it expresses itself through the music, and the dance is the body’s interpretation of that music. The lyrics speak for themselves – giving a written and poetic testimony of our culture.
3. What styles of tango will we see in “Forever Tango”?
All styles and forms (including Argentinian varieties such as Tango de Salon, Canyengue and Nuevo Tango) and it’ll be Forever….
1. What do you most like about the tango?
I love the natural flow of movement created between man and a woman to beautiful music.
2. Do you prefer Latin dance or traditional ballroom?
I like Latin and Ballroom the same. They are both just different expressions of music and coordination.
3. How much input do you have into choreography/acting in a show like “Forever Tango”?
Forever Tango has been around for over 20 years and I got on board a few years back. I have a specific role and the choreography is given to me. But as an individual and as an artist I have my own expression, my own energy. It’s a team effort.
1. What do you most like about the tango?
What I like about the tango is the intimacy between the two partners, dominance of the man, compact powerful movements and the class and the quality that tango requires. I have done the “show” tango before but it’s different this time. I absolutely love learning about the real authentic Argentine tango and really enjoy being in the show.
2. Do you prefer Latin dance or traditional ballroom? Why?
I love dancing Latin dances because of the music and excitement that you receive from it. Ballroom dances are a little too slow for me but it really all depends on the music and who you are partnered up with. Usually I love dancing to Frank Sinatra and be partnered up with Anna Trebunskaya
3. Creatively speaking, how does a show like this compare to a stint on “Dancing with the Stars”?
In the show Forever Tango we don’t really have any input due to the fact that the show has been set already. In the finale we have a little Latin segment where Anna and I choreographed a few moves.
Tickets for FOREVER TANGO range in price from $25 – $85. VIP tickets are available for $125 and include a meet-and-greet with Trebunskaya and Chaplin, preferred seating and a FOREVER TANGO CD. All tickets may be purchased online at http://cityboxoffice.com, by phone at (415) 392-4400 or in person at the City Box Office [180 Redwood St. Ste. 100].