Leave it to a New Yorker to give tango a sensational new spin.
When Astor Piazzolla burst onto the music scene in the mid-20th century, it was with a style that blended his native Argentinian tango with his upbringing in the cultural melting pot of NYC.
The composer and musician infusion of jazz and classical styles gave rise to its own genre: nuevo tango. It was so different from traditional tango that a naysayer once famously quipped to Piazzolla, “That’s not tango,” hence the title of the new production based on his career, That’s Not Tango — Astor Piazzolla, A Life in Music, coming to SubCulture for five performances beginning June 22.
“Piazzolla didn’t write music for dance; he said he made it to be listened to,” says co-creator Lesley Karsten. “He had bigger ideas for the form.”