Forever Tango | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Forever Tango 

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Forever Tango

If you like your dance tarty, slick, and a little violent, this is the show for you. Last seen here in the summer of 1996 at the Royal George Theatre, Forever Tango returns with seven dancing couples, 11 musicians (including 4 bandoneon players), and a vocalist; together they put a high gloss on the raunchy form of the tango, which began in the brothels of Buenos Aires in the 1880s and evolved into its current form in the 1920s, when the craze spread to Europe. Inherently aggressive (the tango was originally danced by men only), the dance includes lots of swift kicks, formalized assaults and retreats, and pained looks of barely repressed desire--or hatred. The legs take on a life of their own, swinging out from the hinge of the knee seemingly in all directions; part of the game is the way the dancers invade each other's space, creating orbits within orbits as they twirl around the stage. Stylish and sexy in an almost cliched way--note the slit skirts, the seamed stockings, the ravished and ravishing looks--the form can be genuinely tender too, and those soft moments when the man gently encircles the woman offer a little space to breathe, a respite from the dancers' otherwise fevered attacks. Tuesday through Thursday, February 3, at 7:30; next Friday, February 4, at 8; next Saturday, February 5, at 5 and 8:30; and next Sunday, February 6, at 3 and 7:30 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State; $19-$45. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets.

--Laura Molzahn

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