REVIEW: 5 Tangos – Tramway, Glasgow

Hans Van Manen’s 1977 work 5 Tangos has been revived by Scottish Ballet for the inaugural Dance International Glasgow (DIG) festival.

Characterised by its precision and above all by its exquisite symmetry, this fusion of classical ballet technique and Argentine tango is an audience friendly crowd-pleaser from a choreographer renowned as a pioneer of ‘modern’ ballet.

Nuevo tango master Ástor Piazzolla’s score provides an atmospheric soundtrack on which the step-perfect action plays out: the dancers tracing mesmerising geometric patterns across the vast floor of Tramway. If any criticism is to be levelled at the piece it is that it robs the tango of its dangerous sexiness, this work is more playful than passionate. That said there is much here to delight the audience in this hugely entertaining work and it is delivered throughout with an impressive energy, drive and precision.

A poignant and somewhat fitting footnote to 5 Tangos is that it sees Argentinian dancer Luciana Ravizzi leave the company after 13 years, which she does with an exquisite grace in her principal role.

Reviewed on Fri 24 Apr 2015 as part of Dance International Glasgow

This review was originally written for and published by www.thepublicreviews.com