Flying feet that touch the heart

“Tango Inferno,” the latest production from the Argentine company Tango Fire, chronicles the evolution of the dance.

In “Tango Inferno,” backed by the astonishing band Quatrotango, 10 prize-winning performers demonstrate the evolution of their form — from its origins as a pastime for cowboys and workers in Buenos Aires’ brothels and slums to its current showy, sleek aspect. Choreographer Yanina Fajar and her assistant, German Cornejo, provide group works, bathed in showers of light by Megafun. The various couples, most of which have been dancing together for years, offer their own variations. The women paste their bodies up against the men and dart their sandaled feet between their partners’ legs

The ensemble is young and limber, but respectful of tango tradition. They dramatize the original cafe setting, where men scuffled and women preened, and work their way up to contemporary developments, with virtuoso partnering and lots of air work. Half a dozen costume changes show off the shapely bodies and ornament the rapid-fire footwork. Strolling singer Jesus Hidalgo croons melancholy tunes into a microphone.

The men of Quatrotango, musical directors as well as accompanists, support the troupe with authentic bandoneón-centered tango tunes and offer many welcome instrumental numbers, letting us rest our eyes while the dancers change their clothes. The troupe’s operating metaphor may be fire, but the overall impact is like water, a rain of steps and notes flowing into every corner of our consciousness.

‘Tango Inferno’
Through Sunday
Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Ave.
$10-$75, 212-242-0800
www.joyce.org


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