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If you found Dancing with the Stars inspirational, then don't miss the opportunity to see and participate in a live tango event this month. Tango Sin Fronteras (Tango Without Borders) - a music and dance production - combines the sensual spice of eight Latin American dancers with such distinctly Israeli sounds as the Pitango Quartet and singer Shlomo Idov. And for those who want to try, the ensemble's dancers will teach audience members some steps in a traditional milonga dance following each performance.
Tango Sin Fronteras brings together the sizzling Latin rhythms, flashy costumes and sexy footwork that make the sensuous South American dance such a crowd pleaser. Argentinean choreographer Ricardo Calvo directs a group of eight dancers in an intense performance as the Pitango Quartet (violin, contrabass, piano and bandonean) accompanies their movements with a Latin sound.
"We play energetic and passionate tango music with fresh interpretations, as well as 'tango-spirited' classical music and popular Israeli songs," says Rinat Avisar, one of the founding members of the quartet and its contrabass player. "It's a unique show because it combines Spanish Argentinean culture with the sound of a well-loved Israeli singer."
Alongside the famous Argentinean dancers, choreographers and musicians, Shlomo Idov will be singing tango songs translated from Spanish into Hebrew, as well as some of his own tunes, such as "Deep Blue Night." Idov, who was born in Buenos Aires and made aliya when he was 13, began studying music at the age of 10. Over the course of his career, he has collaborated with Israeli singers such as Shem Tov Levi and Isaac Klepter, produced five solo albums and won the Israeli Academic Prize for Cinema thanks to his participation in the movie, Nikmato shel Itzik Finkelstein in 1993.
Since its inception at the beginning of 2003 by four Israeli classical musicians, the Pitango Quartet has performed in concert halls, festivals, dance competitions and private shows, including an appearance at the Israel Festival in 2005 with the show, Tango Sin Fronteras. They accompany milongas in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on a regular basis, and have toured the world from Madrid to New York, Argentina to Istanbul, and Mexico to Finland. They have also recorded two CDs and appeared several times on Israeli television.
Although today it's almost impossible to conceive of any other formal dancing position, the tango is only the third dance in history - after the Viennese waltz and the polka - to have men and women as couples directly facing each other and holding hands.
The exact origins of the tango are unknown, but the first piece of music describing itself as tango appeared in 1857. Written and published in Argentina, it was called "Toma mate ch ," and probably referred to what is now known as tango Andaluz, which began in the Andalusia region of Spain. Since then, tango music and dance has undergone periods of both wild popularity and forced discontinuation. After the fall of the Argentinean military junta in 1983, a tango renaissance began in Buenos Aires that has spread internationally, influencing young groups and reviving old styles.
For more information and tickets, NIS 75-130, to shows in Petach Tikva on April 27 at 8:30 p.m., call (03) 912-5222; Givataim on April 29 at 9:00 p.m., call (03) 732-5340; Hertzelia on May 10 at 9:00 p.m., call (03) 540-0551; Tel-Aviv on May 11 at 8:30 p.m., call (03) 604-5000; in Kibbutz Gevat on May 12 at 9:00 p.m., call 054-632-5382; Camiela on May 13 at 8:30 p.m., call (04) 988-1111; and in Kiryat Gat on May 17 at 8:30 p.m., call (08)662-0862.