Take the 7 to Tango
In Thalia Spanish Theatre's musical Todo Tango (through July 1), the notorious playboy Don Juan stands as a metaphor for tango. His philandering ways and debauched conduct encapsulate the very essence of tango in a portrait drawn in song, music, and dance. The musicians, dancers, and singer-actors assembled by artistic director Angel Gil Orrios make this a slick and sexy show, with gorgeous costumes and electric charisma. The women's legs, tapered into vicious stiletto heels, move like daggers around their male partners; hips shimmy angrily; foreheads touch as the dancers' bodies lock together in fits of gusty passion. The punctuated rhythms of the piano and bandoneon (played by the first-rate musical director, Raul Jaurena) cascade deliciously while Humberto Ridolfi's violin soars sweetly above them. Todo Tango is a feast for the senses. Indulge. Josephine Leask
Christopher Caines, a one-man theatrical band, choreographs, dances, sings, stage-manages, and, under a pseudonym, designs the productions for his troupe and recruits superb musicians (the versatile mezzo soprano Alexandra Montano, pianist Marija Ilic, and string players Louise Schulman, Mara Milkis, Anca Nicolau, and Myron Lutzke). His "Chamber Dances," new and recent work for Rika Burnham, Rachel Cohen, Sally Hess, Sabra Perry, Sally Schuiling, Christopher Woodrell, and himself (Construction Company, June), draw on his solid Cecchetti ballet training and his grasp of the nuances of European history. He's a maximalist: In a tiny space deeper than it is wide, with no wings or curtains, he offers expansive, expressive movement, much of it for his lithe dancers' arms. His dramatic and musical extravaganzas, as redolent of human passion and tragedy as the poetry of Wilfred Owen and A.E. Housman, cry out for, say, the New Victory. Elizabeth Zimmer
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