The sensuality and passion of the tango will be on display when Tango Buenos Aires comes to Cal Performances on Friday, January 21, at 8:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall. The program, Fire and Passion of Tango (“Fuego Tango y Pasión”), chronicles the changes and adaptations the dance has experienced in recent years. The company of musicians and dancers will perform a variety of works of featuring solo, duet and full company dances as well as band selections. One of Argentine’s finest culture ambassadors, the troupe is led by music director Emilio Kauderer and choreographer Susana Rojo. Accompanying the ten dancers is a quintet of instrumentalists: Fernando Bruguera, piano; Cesar Rago, violin; Andres Serafin, bass; Ismael Grossman, acoustic and electric guitar; and Martin Sued, bandoneon (a type of concertina). The performance features “fast-paced tapestries of movement, laced with proud postures and sensual couplings” (The Washington Post).
Latin jazz specialist Jesse “Chuy” Varela will give a Lobby Talk on Friday, January 21, at 5:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public and takes place on the Zellerbach Hall mezzanine; tickets are required for the associated performance.
Tango Buenos Aires was created in 1986 for the Jazmines Festival in Buenos Aires by composer and tango director Osvaldo Requena. The group traveled to United States in its first year and since has returned for several coast-to-coast tours, including its Bay Area debut at Cal Performance in 2003. Under the patronage of the President of Argentina, the troupe has spread its artistry within its own borders, to neighboring countries in South America and to distant lands, including New Zealand, Southeast Asia and China. The Berkeley concert is part of a ten-week tour of North America.
Tango Buenos Aires is currently led by music director and composer Emilio Kauderer, who has won many awards for his compositions, including a Latin Grammy for his album Bajo Fondo Tango Club and an Emmy nomination for the Showtime series Dead Like Me. He created the score for Juan Campanella’s 2010 Academy Award-winning Best Foreign Film, El Secreto de sus Ojos (translated The Secret in Their Eyes). Other accolades include Premio Clarin (2009), Premion Sur (2009), Goya Award 2010 Nomination and Condor de Plata Award (2010). In the United States, Kauderer Paquito’s Christmas has been performed at the Washington Opera and Pasadena Civic Center, and he has also composed selections for the Pan American Symphony Orchestra. Trained as a classical musician, Kauderer currently lives in Los Angeles.
Choreographer Susana Rojo started her dancing career in the 1980s and studied with some of the most renowned tango masters, including Angel Todaro, Miguel Angel Zotto and Pepito. In the 1990s, she joined the company Tango Session and was one of the first professional Argentino tango dancers to tour throughout the world. Rojo has participated in several international tango festivals and is also a member of the jury at the International Tango Championship in Buenos Aires. Recently, she founded a program that promotes the Argentine culture to the country’s teenagers.
Tango, which came from the word “tambor,” meaning drums, was created late in the 19th century in tenements and bordellos of Buenos Aires. Its origin is a blend of African-inspired milonga (a dance gathering), the machismo of Argentina’s gauchos, European folk dances and ballroom dance. In the beginning, tangos were considered lowbrow, being danced only in dance halls and cabarets. But by the early 1900s, the tango had been accepted into the larger society and was extremely popular in European cities. Today, tango has evolved into many different dance styles and is considered essential to Buenos Aires’s identity.
Tickets for the Tango Buenos Aires on Friday, January 21 in Zellerbach Hall are priced at $22.00, $30.00, $38.00, $46.00 and $52.00. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to charge by phone; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5 discount (Special Events excluded). For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit the Cal Performances web site at www.calperformances.org.
For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. Rush tickets are announced three hours prior to a performance and are available in person only at the Ticket Office beginning one hour before the performance; quantities may be limited. Rush ticket sales are limited to one ticket per person; all sales are cash only. Rush ticket prices are $10.00 for UCB students; $15.00 for UCB faculty and staff (UCB ID required) and seniors age 65 or older; and $20.00 for all other community members. Information is available on Cal Performances’ Facebook page and at 510-642-9988; press 2 for the rush hotline, three hours prior to a performance only.