It Takes Twelve to Tango

'Forever Tango' hits the Straz in Tampa next weekend

click to enlarge Forever Tango - Courtesy of the Straz Center
Courtesy of the Straz Center
Forever Tango

Dancers! Dancers! The Straz Center is bringing us Forever Tango Friday night and it’s a huge deal! OK, I may still be a little overly excited and fangirlishly starstruck after speaking with the creator and director of the show, Luis Bravo — but Forever Tango is an internationally acclaimed production that's fun, sexy, and features six world-class dance couples, so my enthusiasm is justified. 

A little background on the tango: The dance style is native to Argentina and is said to be a melting pot technique, mixing South American, African and European cultures. While there are many styles of the tango, it's typically a high-tempo partner dance heavily influenced by whatever culture is performing it. By the 1900s, the tango spread worldwide and was popularly used for theater and musicals; it even made its way to traditional ballroom settings.

Forever Tango

$45-$55. April 8, 7 p.m. at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. W.C. McInnes Place, Tampa. 813-229-STAR; buy tickets here.

Luis Bravo, an Argentine native, started practicing classical music at age four. In the little town he grew up in, everything revolved around culture, which, in addition to his artistically inclined parents, led him to be the renowned artist that he is today.

When asked about the creation of the show, Bravo said that Forever Tango was made by his unconscious movements that exemplified his culture and was a justification to be social and spend time with his friends.

“Of course I didn’t expect it to become the international sensation that it became,” he admitted.

OK… so when can I accidentally choreograph a 25 year running critically acclaimed dance show that tours all over the world? Anytime now would be great.

Anyway, I went on to ask Bravo about his inspiration and collaboration to create Forever Tango. Expanding on his explanation that he really only followed his instinct, he told me that he worked with the dancers to feel the music and let every step inspire the next one.

“There is no special formula. It is like writing music; you start with a blank paper and fill it with notes like you fill the music with dancing,” he told me.

The title, Forever Tango, was carefully chosen by Bravo to represent the past of tango that will sustain into the future. He needed a bold, confident title and Bravo thought that “forever” would be recognized and memorable all over the world. I think it’s safe to say he was right.

click to enlarge Forever Tango - Courtesy of the Straz Center
Courtesy of the Straz Center
Forever Tango
To wrap up the interview and my rant of excitement to see this show, Bravo wants the audience to know that even though Forever Tango has been touring for 25 years, every single performance is a new and original show that captures tango, the timeless story of raw human emotion.

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