(Photo: Kate Scott)
By: Andrianna Veatch, Staff Reporter
To the intertwining melodies of piano, cello, and violin, the two dancers swirled in circles and hoops, swinging from the hips and corkscrewing around each other—close, controlled, tight and intent. Such was the performance seen and heard last night in Claver Recital Hall, where the Guest Artist Series is hosted.
The latest offering, titled “Tango: Body and Soul,” was musically performed by the Trio Cordilleras and accompanied by United States Tango Champions, Sean Ericson, and Cindy Gottlob. The performance sampled a variety of tango and tango-esque music from its early birth in the 1800s to the height of its Golden Age in the 1940s and ‘50s to its incarnation as avant-garde music at the hands of composer Ástor Piazzolla. The show included such classic pieces as “Allegro Molto,” “Milonga Sentimental,” “Fuga y Misterio” and longstanding North American favorite, “El Choclo” (translated as “Kiss of Fire”).
Before the concert, pianist and spokesman Alejandro Cremaschi delivered a short talk on the history and elements of tango, particularly its differences between the United States and Argentina. In the former, tango has attained a beautiful, passionately romantic image, due chiefly to the lyrics of American tango songs which focus on seduction, elegance, power and dangerous beauty. Argentine tango, on the other hand, presents a sense of unrequited or betrayed love, nostalgia, death, and poverty; catharsis is a focal point in Argentinian tango as it is a way to express oneself and attain human touch.
Musically, all tangos have a melody and accompaniment. This melodic section is often carried by violins and the bandoneons, a classic tango instrument that resembles a concertina. The rhythmic part of the song is scored by the piano and bass; accompaniment frequently involves a lot of syncopation.
The Trio Cordilleras concert lay the table of tango through its musical showcase from two countries and over a hundred years, sprinkled with the graceful and intense dancing of Ericson and Gottlob.