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Alban Arena knows it's been Tangoed

PUBLISHED: 09:25 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

Tango Fire!

Tango Fire!

FOLLOWING hot on the heels of the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing, dance show Tango Fire lit up the stage of the Alban Arena on Sunday night. I suspect the packed hall was partly due to the popularity of the BBC programme but these doyennes of danc

FOLLOWING hot on the heels of the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing, dance show Tango Fire lit up the stage of the Alban Arena on Sunday night.

I suspect the packed hall was partly due to the popularity of the BBC programme but these doyennes of dance made the Strictly stars look like rank amateurs.

When the sassy Argentinians strode onto the stage I could not believe how thin the women were. But pretty soon I realised how crucial their tiny bodies were to the overall success of a show in which the male dancers throw them around the stage. In many cases the women were hoisted over their heads and twirled around, slid around on their backs and hurled across the room.

I was open-mouthed with amazement at the delicacy with which this was done until my sister, who is an average-sized person, said: "I'd be more impressed if they could do that with me."

Although she had a point, I suspect our under-nourished sisters would be more popular with the male dancers.

The first half of the show was more decorous with the men in dark smart suits and the ladies wearing respectable costumes, admittedly with deep slits in the skirts.

But as the evening progressed the clothing fell off and the men stripped down to tight trousers and tee shirts with the women in scanty outfits leaving little to the imagination. The action got very hot, sweaty and raunchy but at the same time beautiful to look at with these fit bodies forming perfect shapes and elegant lines with the emphasis on sensuality as opposed to eroticism. After all, Argentinian tango started in the brothels of Buenos Aires.

The dancers are accompanied by their own four-piece tango orchestra including a violin, double bass, piano and banodoneon - the latter an accordion-like instrument that gives the tango its rhythm.

Swarthy singer Rodrigo Flores looked and sounded the part of a tango singer with a voice redolent of passion and pain.

The male dancers included a couple of Anthony Banderas lookalikes providing eye candy for female members of the audience.

St Albans audiences are not known for the wildness of their demeanour but on this occasion they clapped along to the fervid beat of the music and cries of approval echoed around the theatre. At the end the musicians, the singer and the dancers came out to a well-deserved standing ovation.

Come back Tango Fire! It made other dance shows look lacklustre and wanting in passion and feeling.

MARY BROSNAN

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