January 11 at Marines Memorial Theater.
Created and directed by Luis Bravo, Forever Tango features a world-renowned cast of dancers and musicians who bring an intoxicating sense of excitement and passion to the stage. Through music, dance and vignettes, the production traces the tango’s colorful history, from its beginnings in turn-of-the-century Buenos Aires bordellos to its acceptance into high society. Sensuous and sophisticated, the tango inhabits a world where everything can be said with the flick of a leg, the tug of a hand, the tap of a foot and the arch of an eyebrow.
The original production took San Francisco by storm in 1994 where it played an unprecedented 92 weeks. In June of 1997, Forever Tango opened on Broadway where it played for 14 months and earned rave reviews from critics. The show garnered multiple Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations, and became the longest-running tango show in Broadway history – an honor it still holds today! Forever Tango has since toured major cities through the United States, Europe and Asia. The show’s last visit to San Francisco was in 2008.
Forever Tango’s cast includes 14 world-class dancers, a vocalist and an 8-piece, on-stage orchestra, anchored by the bandoneón, the accordion-like instrument that is the mainstay of tango music. The Forever Tango orchestra boasts three of only 200 bandoneón players known worldwide. The dances, performed to original and traditional music, are the result of collaboration between each couple and director/creator Bravo.
Also appearing in every performance of Luis Bravo’s Forever Tango is Cheryl Burke. With over 18 years dancing experience and several championship titles under her belt, Cheryl has tangoed and sambaed her way into the hearts of millions through the hit ABC television show Dancing With The Stars. She is one of the show’s professional dancers to have won the championship twice! In the spring of 2008, Cheryl opened her first dance studio, the highly successfuly Cheryl Burke Dance, which now has locations in Silicon Valley and Orange County.
– Marines Memorial Theater announcement
Cheryl Burke on Argentine Tango – Since I was a little girl, I’ve been a huge fan. When they were here in SF performing, I remember my mom and dad taking me. Argentine Tango and ballroom dancing are completely separate styles. I asked my agent to approach Luis Bravo and he said, “Well, OK, come to Argentina for the summer and some of my top dancers will teach you.”
In Argentine Tango there’s no hip action. It’s softer, it’s delicate, then sometimes it’s passionate. Sometimes there’s sharpness, although it almost always comes from the man, because it’s very much about lead and follow. – Notes from a SF Chronicle feature
MY TAKE – I vaguely remember Forever Tango from its earlier SF appearances – I think it was in a tent down on the Embarcadero. We went this time because of Cheryl Burke – she’s hot – but she only dances three or four times. This is all about the Luis Bravo dance troupe from Argentina.
The orchestra is on stage and it is fabulous. Piano, string bass, violin, viola, cello and three bandoneon players. Aside from playing for the dancers, the orchestra plays several numbers with male singer and several numbers alone. The dancers pairings are the same throughout the evening. They are brilliant and varied in style and even when they are three or more couples performing at once, they perform their own dance, not a synchronized thing.
At a little over two hours, including intermission, it felt a tad long, but what a great evening.