Maurisio Wainrot`s ballet "Tango plus. Travels."

Maurisio Wainrot`s ballet

At the evening of  April 29 I managed to spend some time at the Latvian National Opera and watch productions of the Argentinean choreographer Mauricio Wainrot. These are two one-act plays, where the mood radically distinguishes one from the other.

You can read more on these productions in several websites - , but below I express my purely subjective thoughts.

Argentina, Brazil, dance, Mauricio Wainrot, tangoArgentina, Brazil, dance, Mauricio Wainrot, tango

The first one-act or Tango Plus created a certain atmosphere of urban environment - the city noise, bustle, asphalt or grey pavement, artificially lit streets in late afternoons, rush, hectic activity. At the beginning it seemed unisexual, and then a couple diverged from the mass, which later on danced their relationship away in this urban environment. However, I would not say that this relationship is long-termed and filled with delicate feelings, rather it`s momentary, urgent as the city itself, but certainly passionate. The music was clearly tango, but the dance elements of tango, however, very limited. In my opinion, many elaborated, pure classical ballet dance moves.

The second one-act or Travels was much more colourful and musically diverse. Of course, it was determined by the basic idea - a trip through several countries, their cultures and rhythms. Imagination-wise I spent time in Mongolia, France, Israel, Java, Turkey, Kurdistan, Bulgaria, Brazil, Belarus, Argentina and India. The moves were more primitive, natural, relaxed. It sometimes led to associations with ritual dancing, revelry, or fighting. The natural beauty of male and female bodies was uncovered through simple moves. The dance obviously took place in nature, not inside city walls. Hot Southern sun, sultry nights, desert, breadth of steppes, water flow and glow of the sunset could be seen in the interplay of the light with the plasticity of the dancers` bodies. More colourful, enjoyable, mood-wise less tedious as the first one-act.

About tango

I associate tango with a rather intimate interplay of bodies. Body-wise, not spiritually. A dance that can be danced on the street, on the pavement, next to a cafeteria, next to a gutter, for curious eyes, despite oneself, a partner or someone who`s watching.  When we tried to learn tango a couple of years ago, I really liked the fact that a woman takes the first step, but the men initially retreats compared to waltz or foxtrot. It seems as if the bodies lain on each other, rest on each other. Sharp moves interchange with pauses. But that`s nostalgia, now a little bit about the history of tango.

Argentina, Brazil, dance, Mauricio Wainrot, tangoArgentina, Brazil, dance, Mauricio Wainrot, tango

Tango originates from Buenos Aires and Montevideo at the end of the 19th century, when many immigrants from Europe, mainly young, single men, came to these towns in search of fortune and profit. Originally, Tango was one of the ways in which these young men could express their creativity and at the same time their superiority over rivals and also thus they could meet the already numerically few women - often only the best dancers managed to get married and start a family. At the beginning of the 20th century tango became popular also in Europe, when it was taken to Paris by Argentinian high circles who had gone to the Old World for education. From France tango spread further in Europe and around the world, reaching the music market.

Argentina, Brazil, dance, Mauricio Wainrot, tangoArgentina, Brazil, dance, Mauricio Wainrot, tango

Through different historical twists and turns tango in its motherland has been both worshipped and even forbidden to such an extent that tango dancers were forced to go underground until a new wave of tango cult took over the world at the beginning of the 90-ties of the 20th century. Moreover, the authentic Argentine tango became particularly popular, not the European type. Tango covers the broadest spectrum of emotions: it contains loneliness, sadness, longing, love, jealousy, lust, trust - many different human relations, and each dance is a story that is told on the dance floor.

Tango music is unimaginable without Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), his compositions and bandoneon play. Piazzolla`s music can be also heard in "Tango Plus" production.

Argentine tango dance studio in Riga -

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