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Editorial: SWANGO is extended - or a rambling dance path to the pursuit of happiness

by Robert Abrams
September 1, 2002
New York, NY

Editorial: SWANGO is extended - or a rambling dance path to the pursuit of happiness

September 1, 2002

If you dance and you haven't yet taken my advice to go see SWANGO, you have been given a reprieve. ExploreDance.com has just learned that SWANGO has been extended through the end of September. That gives you about ten more chances to see an intense dance show presented in an intimate setting. Love, jealousy, resentment, redemption, stylish outfits and to die for midriffs - it is all there. And the dancing, both Argentine Tango and West Coast Swing, is not bad either. I've now seen the show four times, and each time I see something new. This is partly because the first time I saw the show through a Stanislavskian lens: seeing what happens; and the subsequent times, already knowing what happens, I can see the show through a Meyerhold/Brechtian lens: seeing how the action happens. But also because this is a show with boundless creativity - they are constantly trying new moves to make the show better. After all, while the dances are choreographed, this is partner dance, and so there is a certain improvisational discipline that must be respected in order to keep the lead and follow energy fresh.

SWANGO has been extended because they keep packing the house. People haven't started scalping the tickets outside of the door yet, but I did overhear one person complaining to the hostess about whether the people ahead of him really had reservations or not. Brash, pushy - a totally New York I have to see this show now kind of moment. Which is good in a way, but I suggest you reserve your tickets ahead of time so that you can show your cool by speaking softly like that ultimate New Yorker - I'm talking about Teddy Roosevelt, of course.

If SWANGO inspires you, which it probably will, you can stick around Swing 46 to dance some Swing. And if you go on a Friday night, like I did recently, you can respect the spirit of SWANGO by heading over to La Belle Epoque to dance some Argentine Tango - but get there at 11 pm or later so that you can walk in like an Argentinian.

If you don't want to go straight from Swing to Tango, you can ramble there, like I did on this night. I stopped by Dance Manhattan - coincidentally where many of the Swango dancers teach, and got there just in time for a show. Dance Manhattan's teachers and students were showing off several kinds of Swing, Tango, Foxtrot, you name it. As an indication of how dedicated the SWANGO dancers are, Mariana Parma, who dances Tango in SWANGO, gave a Merengue and Salsa performance at Dance Manhattan not an hour after she finished at Swing 46. No matter what she is dancing, her moves are so hot, she generates her own smoke without need of leaves or tinder. There was plenty of general dancing too in pretty much all styles.

So do Thomas Jefferson proud. I can't guarantee that dancing will make you happy, but it creates the potential to pursue happiness, and in this day and age, or in any day and age for that matter, the potential alone is a gift.


Robert Abrams
Editor, ExploreDance.com

Swango runs until September 30, 2002, currently on Thursday and Friday evenings, starting at 8:30 PM (get there by 7:30 PM if you are having dinner at Swing 46). Do yourself a favor and call Swing 46 at 212-262-9554 to reserve your tickets. Swing 46 is located at 349 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. They can also be found on the web at www.Swing46.com. Swango can be found on the web at www.SwangoProductions.com. And don't forget to bring your dance shoes for the free dance lesson and dancing to a live Swing band after the show.

Information about Dance Manhattan can be found at www.dance-manhattan.com.

Information about La Belle Epoque can be found in several places on this site, including a recent candids page.

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