After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Intimo Maximiliano Guerra

With the retirement of Julio Bocca, Maxi Guerra has become the #1 male superstar of Argentine dance. He's getting a little older now (over 44) and is broadening his horizons by being a judge on the TV show, Talento Argentino, and moving out of the strictly classical dance he is famous for.

Last week I attended a gala benefit for the hospital volunteer society, Damas Rosadas, in the gorgeous old Teatro Avenida on Avenida de Mayo, starring Maxi and the Ballet del Mercosur. He has donated much time and energy over the years to various charities and this program was no exception.

In this "Intimo" program of four short pieces, Guerra wanted to show the various influences on his life and career over time, an homage to his roots and culture.

The show began with "Ritual," a ballet to folklore music like the Zamba and Chacarera and also African folklore by way of Cuba. Reminded me somewhat of the Rite of Spring. Then Maxi and his fantastic ballerina, Julieta Saravia, danced an impressive pas de deux, "Requiem Urbano" choreographed by him to French music of the 60s. The third piece, "Cuando Bailamos," also choreographed by Guerra, was set to Emerson Lake & Palmer, and had ballerinas on point dancing disco moves. I thoroughly enjoyed this first half of the show despite the over-reliance on the smoke machine, which made it difficult to see everything clearly despite our excellent seats. I can only imagine what the dancers felt breathing it in.

After intermission, a tango piece by Mora Godoy closed the show. Unfortunately the choreography was uninspired, repetitive, gancho-heavy, and boring. And a waste of Maxi's talents, proving once again that a great classical dancer is not necessarily able to dance tango as it should be danced.

I applaud this generous artist of spectacular charisma and talent for tirelessly giving back from his kind heart. I enjoyed my night out with a good friend for a good cause, and we finished the warm spring evening on the sidewalk in front of Los 36 Billiards with huge drinks of vodka while a couple performed tango inside to live flamenco music (!)

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