Review: Cambridge Music Festival: Come Tango

Cambridge, one of the country’s pinnacles of academic endeavour, showed another side of its multifaceted character in Come Tango, a concert for the Cambridge Music Festival . This event celebrated rare rhythmic abandonment that only the most joyous of Latin rhythms can stimulate.

Conductor Darrell Davison, gyrating with mesmerizing authority, inspired Cambridge Orchestra to moments of flamboyant ecstasy (exemplified by Braziliana by Ricardo de Pandeiros), sophistication (exemplified by Gerswin’s Rumba) or potent tensions that are integral characteristics of the Tango (exemplified by the works of Piazzolla).

The evening was filled with varied expressions of that magnetic dance that has universal appeal. Works included Le Grand Tango, Libergano and Soledad  (Piazzolla), Three Tangos (Mátyás Seiber), Tomo y Obligo and Por una Cabeza (Carlos Gardel), and Malambo (Alberto Ginastera).

Dancers added colour and vitality to the experience with carefully choreographed movements ranging from the mesmerizing minimalism and potent interaction of Ivan Arandia and Rachel Greenberg to the empathetic flurries and swift manoeuvres of the other dancers: Richard Manuel , Jenny Sayer, Hilmar Gudmundsoon, Natalia Safianbowicz, Costa Rocos and Floridia Ferrara. The highly accomplished solo cellist Liubov Ulybysheva also enhanced the performances considerably.

With abundant percussion pulsating infectious rhythms, this highly energized evening culminated with a splendid performance of Ravel’s Boléro. Although this familiar work is based on the constant repetition of that famous snare drum rhythm and the gradual developing melodic phrases, this performance thrived on variety and breathed life into the music as the dancers interwove their unforgettable interpretations.

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