Review: German Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi - Tango Fire - Peacock Theatre
World Tango Champions German Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi return once more to Sadler’s Wells for another scorching display of smouldering tango, impressive acrobatics and thrilling set pieces accompanied by live musicians. It’s a feast for any dance fan however Cornejo’s shows are lacking a little originality in their arrangements and at times the daring lifts attempting by his cast members were a little too close for comfort.
Cornejo is skilled in the art of pacing a show and proceedings start slowly, almost too pleasantly with the full cast in a Milonga) section. The audience are transported to a quaint daytime scene, a market square where the men wear cravats and the tone is distinctly informal. There is easy interplay between the couples, the men are macho and the women are their attractive accessories. It’s all engaging but deliberately playing safe.
Things finally heat up as we hit night-time and for the first time the audience indulged with a seductive, powerful and gymnastic display from Cornejo and Galeassi (in A Los Amigos). Galeassi is flawless in a glittering purple dress with an indecently high slit. The chemistry between them is palpable, their frames solid and strong whilst a frenzy of activity unfolds at their legs and feet. It’s not long before Galeassi is flying across the stage in some throws and lifts that seem to defy physics as the audience gasp at their complexity and daringness. All this while seeming so casual and improvised – this number is worth the ticket price alone.
The second act follows a similar theme with each couple showcasing their skills in group and solo numbers, interspersed with some enjoyable musical interludes from singer, Jesus Hidalgo and a quartet of musicians.
As each couple takes to the stage for it’s moment in the spotlight I was struck by the contrast in their tango experience, with some dancers pulling off the acrobatics more successfully than others. Marcos Esteban Roberts and Louise Junquiera Malucelli perfectly evoked a feeling of Beunos Aires with
their stylish Argentine Tango. Malucelli’s costume exposing her beautifully strong dancers back and rippling shoulder blades, she is wonderfully seductive.
However Sebastian Alvarez and Victoria Saudelli fared less well. Saudelli’s technique is naturally less controlled and this couple together conjure up a more raunchy, uninhibited approach to their dancing which at times left the audience gasping for the wrong reasons. There were plenty of daring moves in their routine to the Piazzolla classic Libertango however the timing, especially on a throw seeing Saudelli twist 360 degrees was not timed well, lacking the grace and gloss of a Cornejo/Galeassi display unfortunately.
Appropriately named, Tango Fire is undoubtedly a an enticing and sizzling display filled with a blur of fast footwork from end to end with every couple bringing a different dynamic to the stage. Cornejo’s fans were certainly very vocal on opening night and they had reason to be, as a troupe these dancers show great skill and synchronicity however it’s Cornejo and Galeassi who always steal the show.
Vikki Jane Vile is a freelance dance writer and regular contributor to Dance Today and Dancing Times. Find her on Twitter @VikkiJane