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Robert Abrams
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Argentine Tango
Dicapo Opera Theatre
Jennifer Muller | The Works
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Jennifer Muller | The Works - Noche de Pasión

by Robert Abrams
November 20, 2006
Dicapo Opera Theatre
184 East 76th Street
(Lexington Avenue)
New York, NY 10021
(212) 288-9438

Featured Dance Company:

Jennifer Muller | The Works
Jennifer Muller | The Works Studio
131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10011

Ilona Wall has written ExploreDance.com's main review of this show, so I will just add a few short notes.

Often times when modern dance or ballet choreographers create Tango influenced dances, the resulting works are so divorced from actual Tango that real Tangueros find the show to be painful or uninteresting. Jennifer Muller's Passion Fruit is true to Argentine Tango's style and technique, while also being rooted in her own Modern Dance movement vocabulary. It is an abstract work that fairly accurately captures the passion not only of the dance but of the Tango scene as well. When it comes to the status of social dances on the performance side of the dance world, many performance dancers don't see social dances as worthy of art. I think this is an inaccurate view, but also agree that people who promote the social dances need to take steps to demonstrate such dances' validity as art. To have a Modern Dance choreographer of Jennifer Muller's stature create a work that is true to Argentine Tango, and to have a company of modern dance trained dancers perform it as well as they did, is one such validation. To provide further such validation, it would be useful to have a company of professional Argentine Tango dancers perform Passion Fruit in its current form. Beyond this, it might be useful to have Jennifer Muller create a variation of Passion Fruit that was about half Argentine Tango and half Modern Dance, to be danced by both her own company and a company of professional Argentine Tango dancers. This last step I suggest more as a form of research than as a necessary artistic presentation (although I am sure Jennifer Muller could make it worth watching as art).
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