Into The Tango by Pointe Tango is playing at Randolph Theatre at the Toronto Fringe Festival. I’ve never heard of pointe tango, I’ve never seen pointe tango, but apparently tango on pointe is a thing. Pointe Tango, based in Argentina, is the only dance company in the world that performs tango with pointe shoes and hey, it’s pretty cool!
I walked into a packed Randolph Theatre with eager dance enthusiasts such as myself, jazzed to see some tango. The show began with two dancers, Erin Scott-Kafadar and Alexander Richardson wearing green bandanas over their faces to signify women’s rights in Argentina. What followed was an unconventional, more “contemporary” tango. At this point, I was thinking I’d come to the wrong show, as I was expecting some fiery tango action. But after the first number, the energy picks up and I got to see some authentic Argentine tango take the stage.
Tango is known to be the ‘dance of love,’ and is danced with passionate, controlled movements. I thought Erin and Alexander had an amazing connection and really brought a playful, softer style to the dance that worked especially well with the pointe shoes. And although coming in I was expecting more of a “Dancing with the Stars” extravaganza, I have to say this performance is a bit more muted and focuses on the tango steps, the tango technique, rather than a big showy performance.
Although I enjoyed the dance element of this show, I wanted a bit more from the production side. Because the stage is so big, it tended to look bare, and although some spotlights helped, there weren’t enough lighting cues to make it feel like a full show. Since tango is such an intimate dance, with vast amounts of light around it, it tended to take away from the mood.
But despite a few production things like this, I really appreciated getting a glimpse into Erin and Alexander’s world of Argentine Tango. When they began performing their pointe tango number, it just made so much sense to me that the two dances would be fused together. As a dancer, I really felt like I was seeing something totally new and strangely cool. It even had a bit of a cirque du soleil feel to it.
If you are a dance lover, you will appreciate the intricate steps, sultry swivels and swift flicks that make up Into the Tango. And it may be your only chance to see the innovative dance fusion, “tango on pointe.”
- Into the Tango plays at Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst St.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- This venue is barrier-free. Note that only certain building entrances are wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in front of the front row.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Friday July 5th 10:30 pm
- Saturday July 6th, 8:00 pm
- Sunday July 7th, 1:00 pm
- Tuesday July 9th, 5:00 pm
- Wednesday July 10th, 6:45 pm
- Friday July 12th, 2:45 pm
- Sunday July 14th, 4:30 pm
Photo of Erin Scott-Kafadar, Alexander Richardson.