BLIND:STRENGTH IN VULNERABILITY
January 29, 2017
This weekend the Brooklyn Academy of Music was enraptured by tango. Blind Strength in Vulnerability, a choreographic work directed by Diego Blanco and Ana Padro´n, explored the duality between strength and vulnerability, departing from blindfolded interaction and moving towards gradual revelation.
The black box of BAM Fisher’s Fishman Space welcomed the audience, interspaced with the sporadic presence of eight mysterious blindfolded characters dressed in gray suits who eventually progressed to the stage. Within contemporary abstract patterns, the character’s arbitrary lineal trajectories merged them into four tango dancing couples, led by composer and bass player, Pedro Giraudo.
Breaking from the traditional Argentinean tango embrace, the flow of traditional figures such as boleos, ganchos, and cortes, conjugated pedestrian breaks, falls, and theater-dance narrative. The opening Tanguedia abruptly stopped as the female dancers’ suits were taken away by their partners, gradually revealing subtle cocktail gowns, while the choreography resumed integrating the male dancers’ suits in their respective pas de deux.
Through the program’s eight sections, the company explored a gamat of relationships through different treatments within theatrical and traditional approaches, including references to tango’s original male exclusive dance. The culminating moment of the evening was Desapego, composed by Giaraudo and exquisitely played by the musical quartet consisting of piano, bass, violin, and Argentinean bandoneon.
The melodic blast carried into the last number with the full company reprising highlights from the program. Fading into a gloomy cadence, the company’s reverence confirmed the end of the program.
Nonetheless, on opening night, the directors closed with a few words of gratitude, receiving a shower of roses from an enthusiastic audience. The support of the tango community was especially evident during the dance lessons that complemented the weekend’s performances, where Tango for All invited the audience to try a couple of tango steps on stage.
Blind Strength in Vulnerability’s achievements were challenged in transposing to New York’s Fishman Space such an intimate art, extracted from the heart of La Milonga and El Caminito in Buenos Aires.
After the show, audience comments included debates about the dramatic coherency of the proposal, costume mishaps, and aesthetic decisions, such whether the reiterative exposure of female intimate areas in the second piece was justified. By contrast, the general consensus praised the interpretative finesse among the couples, the references to Argentinean folkloric Chacarera, and the professionalism of the company.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY - GABRIELA ESTRADA