*Dance can often tell a story and there is nothing so lively, passionate or dramatic as the Tango of Buenos Aires, or as vibrant as the Afro-Cuban tempo of Salsa danced in both the Caribbean islands and the streets of New York.
The seductive tale of the Argentine cowboy also brings to life the tap dance of the Gauchos with all its rhythmic beats. However, one does not have to be an historian to enjoy “Rhythm & Passion,” a show presented by Lehman Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m.
The only show of its kind, “Rhythm & Passion,” takes its audience on an internationally acclaimed dance sojourn that celebrates a people and their story as told through the art of dance.
It is a visually stunning, energetic and colorful display of period music and dance performed before a beautiful scenic backdrop that only serves to heighten the beauty of the stunning performances of these international artists that bring this extravaganza to life.
Directed by Gloria Otero and assisted by assistant director, Claudio Otero, “Rhythm & Passion” has enthralled audiences both nationally and internationally and is enjoyed by both children and adults alike.
In fact, Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is offering children twelve and under the special price of $10.00 the see this beautiful dance spectacular.
Tango was born in the country of Argentina during the last decade of the 19th century. It is said that the dance style and music was derived from the slums at the outskirts of Buenos Aires and neighboring Montevideo, Uruguay. Initially, tango music was played solo by a cafe pianist or by duos or trios of flute, violin and guitar players. However, around 1920 the vocal tango became much more prominent when brought to popular acclaim by folksinger Carlos Gardel.
Salsa has a diverse history with its amalgam of Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances that evolved in Cuba and became known in New York from the 1940s and 1970s where it was coined “Salsa,” a popular nickname which referred to a variety of Latin musical dance forms which include rumba, son montuno, guaracha, mambo, cha cha cha, danzón, son, guaguanco, guajira, charanga, cumbia, bomba, festejo and merengue. Salsa music is a fusion of traditional African and Cuban and other Latin-American rhythms, that traveled from the Cuban and Caribbean shores to New York during the migration between the 1940s and the 1970s.
Gauchos (cowboys) wandered the Argentine Pampas as early as the 1600s. For many centuries, cow leather was one of the most traded goods between the old world and the colonies, and the gauchos became an integral part of that trade. There were many tournaments showcasing the skills of the Gauchos and eventually the Malambo dance was derived and was danced solely by men. Rhythmic, unruly and characterized by virtuoso footwork malambo dancing incorporates an amazing series of heel taps resembling Flamenco and American tap dance.
Tickets for the RHYTHM & PASSION show on Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 8pm can be obtained by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718.960.8833 or online at www.LehmanCenter.org. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd., and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Free on-site parking is available.