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Tango Pasion Sizzles With 21st Century Desire

Dance Review

February 02, 2001|VICTORIA LOOSELEAF | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Tango is basically sex with your clothes on. And the clothes that the members of Tango Pasion were wearing at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Wednesday were like a Bob Mackie explosion. Credit Emmylou Latour with a glitzy, body-revealing wardrobe and Hector Zaraspe with sensational choreography (much of it based on the filigreed footwork of the dancers): This sizzling company of 30 singers, dancers and musicians put the second S in "passion"--it definitely translated.

Tango, a century old, originated in Argentine brothels and is meant to be the apotheosis of seduction. With six couples plying their steamy wares, this show brought basic desire into the 21st century. While mostly an ensemble evening, for sheer heat, Viviana Laguzzi and Juan Corvalan--she of elegance on the hoof, he of aristocratic good looks--tore up the floor in "La Cumparsita," replete with a power struggle that saw Corvalan wipe the stage with his partner, ending in a spectacular frieze of yearning.

It may take two to tango, but it also takes magical footwork: slender legs darting in and around each other seemingly faster than the eye can behold, daring dips and Rockette-style precision. All of this and more made the night a blur of beauty in deft motion.

With much of the music by the late tango master Astor Piazzolla, Jose Libertella and Luis Stazo provided superb bandoneon playing (at times wielding their instruments like Slinkys), as the Sexteto Mayor Orchestra rocked. Guillermo Galve, a South American Jerry Vale, erupted with an occasional song, but the night belonged to the dance of love.

*

* Tango Pasion appears at Long Beach Performing Arts Center's Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, tonight, 8 p.m., Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m., (714) 740-2000. $26.50-$36.50.

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