Maria De Buenos Aires (4 stars)

This article is from 2010

Maria De Buenos Aires

An Argentine feast for all five senses

A programme note warns audience members going into this anarchic reinterpretation of Astor Piazzolla’s already surreal 1968 ‘tango opera’ not to worry about following any sort of narrative.

Thus released, you’re free to let teeming chaos wash over you. Loosely, this is about Maria, the spirit of Argentine Tango, distilled here into the voluptuous, corseted form of Argentine chanteuse Gabriela Bergallo. Really, it’s a full-throated love song to the passionate, pungent corners of Buenos Aires.

Russian Fringe First winners Akhe play assorted lascivious citizens with their characteristically malevolent clowning, the accordion-led live music snakes and charms and, at times, heady gusts of garlic, freshly-ground coffee or frying steak fill the auditorium. And there is tango, whip-sharp-sexy tango, flicked with shocking ease off the hips of dancers Alexandra Vachter and Mikhail Immamutdinoff.

That initial surrender is necessary: this production wants to overpower you, wonderfully. Let it, and you won’t regret it.

Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 30 Aug, 8.40pm, £12 (£10).

Maria de Buenos Aires

  • 4 stars

Nominated for the best actress and best performance awards at Moscow’s Festival of the Golden Mask, a puzzle of yelling provocation, the silent poetry of engineering Theatre AKHE and the vibrating lyricism of Astor Piazzolla. Revealing a mystery believed lost forever, via St Petersburg pointe shoes and tricky though naive…