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Luis Bravo's 'Forever Tango'

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Forever Tango

Forever Tango

Courtesy RCA Victor Records
Luis Bravo’s Forever Tango has an unprecedented record for a show that is, fundamentally, a one-trick pony. The show’s run has lasted (on and off) from 1994, when it first appeared in San Francisco and ran for 92 weeks. It moved to Broadway in 1997 where it ran for over a year. From there, it hit the road, touring major cities in North America, Europe and Asia.
The trick is the tango. Not just any tango, but the marvelous, creative, sensual Argentine tango. That’s it. Two hours of tango music, tango singing, tango done by a couple at a time and tango done by the troupe

“Forever Tango’s” Music

The show starts with the orchestra performing the overture. There are around 50 bandoneon (read Argentine accordion) players in the world, and four of the best are part of the eleven-piece orchestra. They are rounded out with two violins, a viola, bass, cello, piano and keyboards. It’s not a huge orchestra, but the music that they make is a rich, authentic sound that you would expect of an orchestra three times the size. Their final number, “Adios Nonino” features a terrific solo riff from lead Bandoneon player (and orchestra leader) Victor Lavallen and a crowd roaring piano solo by Fernando Marzan.

The orchestral interludes are augmented with the rich baritone voice of Alfredo Saez, who does a solid job with his two numbers “Uno” and “El Dia Que Me Quieras”. Saez has replaced the original Carlos Morel as part of the cast.

The Dance

With six couples that each has their individual styles, each tango performance is a new experience. The first troupe number, “El Suburbio” is the most exciting. A dance in vignette that displays the emotional and social climate of turn-of-the-century Buenos Aires, we’re entertained with the dance, passion between the dancers, jealousy between the men and even a little gunplay.

The rest of the ensemble numbers are not as exciting as the individual couple tangos. For some reason, the dancers are more lackluster in a troupe than they are when performing center stage. A notable exception is the end of the first act which features a “candombe”, one of the traditional forms of dance in Argentina.

The dancer’s individual numbers are where the troupe really shines. As couple after couple appear on stage to perform their own unique interpretation of the tango, you can feel the audience hold their breath as passion, jealousy, misunderstanding, reconciliation and violence of feelings are performed to music and in a language that is universal and mesmerizing.

Luis Bravo – Creator and Director

Luis Bravo is the creator and director of Forever Tango. Bravo studied both guitar and cello as a child and attended the Municipal Conservatory of Music Manuel de Falla and the University of Buenos Aires. He was a member of the Argentine National Symphony until he moved to the U.S. A noted musician himself, performing with major symphonies in South America, Bravo conceived and directed the show in the belief that Argentine tango was a lasting worldwide phenomenon that needed a showcase.

Along with Ruben Blades, Bravo received a special award from ACE as the two most successful Latin artists on Broadway. He personally works with each couple as they prepare to enter the show. He is currently involved in promoting talent throughout his company.

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