Luis Bravo's "Forever
Tango" at The Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills is a sizzling review featuring
music, lighting, and dance. There is an eleven piece orchestra onstage with
four accordian-like bandoneons, strings, keyboards, and grand piano. Singer
Carlos Morel appears solo with the band for several numbers and with the dancers
for a couple. The dancing is stupendous and Bravo's lighting ties everything
The twelve Argentinian
dancers appear onstage as couples. Accompanied by steamy Latin rhythms, they
dance cheek to cheek, thigh to thigh, body to body. It's, by turns, high octane,
sensual, sultry. The dancers choreograph their stories, which appear as a series
of about twenty vignettes. They trace the history of tango, from its origins
in 19th century brothels to it's later transformations and acceptance in high
society. Tango inhabits a world where everything can be said with the flick
of a leg, the tug of a hand, and the tap of a foot.
The dancing features smooth
lifts and slides, punctuated by sharp stiletto like leg kicks that go straight
out, around the back, between the legs or straight up in arabesque. There's
high stepping cancan rhythms, bump and grind with dizzying twirls. "Forever
Tango" has body movements like I've never seen. Explosive back bends where
she just rockets back to be caught by her partner, lifted high overhead, she
has her hands on his shoulders, legs up in the air, while he spins her around.
In one outstanding piece, the girl is lifted high overhead, then in a single
sudden movement she's dropped and caught a split second before she hits the
floor. The show is very structured, but with a freedom and vitality that make
it unlike anything else.
"Forever Tango" is a fiery production of Latin rhythm and dance that continues at The Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills through February 16.