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Robert Abrams
Performance Reviews
West Coast Swing
Argentine Tangos
White Plains Performing Arts Center
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Swango

by Robert Abrams
April 29, 2005
White Plains Performing Arts Center
11 City Place
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 328-1600

Swango

Presented at
The White Plains Performing Arts Center
11 City Place
White Plains, NY 10601
888-977-2250
www.wppac.com

Robert Abrams
April 29, 2005

Swango is better than ever. The show, as in previous versions, features high energy choreography, sharp execution of spins, and nice accenting of the music. They have added sections on the history of Swing and Tango, such as Swing's origins at the Savoy Ballroom, and Tango's origins in the brothels of Buenos Aires.

For those of you who have just tuned in, Swango is a Romeo and Juliette story featuring a group of West Coast Swing dancers and Argentine Tango dancers who end up in the same bar one night. A Swing dancer falls for a Tango dancer. The respective groups think this is a bad idea and try to stop the match. Love and rhythm wins out in the end. Along the way there is a lot of great dancing and some palpable drama.

The Tango was sultry and quick-footed. Mariana Parma showed off her comic timing in a fast Tango. I don't think I have ever seen Tango dancers have so much fun. The two dancers who rhythmically twirled bolos were stupendous.

The show was filled with spectacular lifts and drops, as well as sharp isolations. Jason Colacino and Katie Boyle, West Coast Swing dancers, were especially good in this regard. There was also a phenomenal double finger roll.

The show was filled with inventive choreography, such as when the Swing dancers spun a series of women down a line of men, one partner to the next. In many ways, the choreography has improved since the last version. It is richer. The bartender, for example, now dances. He has a fantasy sequence where he inhabits his own club inhabited solely by six women paying him sole mind that is sure to inspire envy. Another change can be found in the Cruzado scene. In the past, Mariella Franganillo was accosted by two Tango dancers as she fights the resistance to her falling for the other. Now the scene features her battling with a tango dancer and Robert Royston, the Swing Romeo of the work, emphasizing more of her internal conflict.

The set is quite sumptuous, featuring mirrored backdrops that let the audience see the dancing from several perspectives.

The show is worth seeing. But don't take my word for it. Here's what the audience was saying: "Wonderful, cute, energetic and exciting! I really enjoyed it. It is great even for non-dancers." - Elena "It had all the great songs." - Andy

It runs through May 8, 2005 at the White Plains Performing Arts Center (888) 977-2250, and then at the Queens Theatre in the Park. Call Dance Manhattan at 212-807-0802 for more info about show times.

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