GO? “Overall, this show is a wow,” reports Eva Yaa Asantewaa on “Tango Fire.” Plus, a tardy YAY for Full Circle’s “Innaviews” at Dance Theater Workshop

Foot contributor and Infinite Body blogger Eva Yaa Asantewaa saw the tango show I previewed here. She writes:
Saw the show this afternoon. It’s about twice as long as it needs to be, but, lord, how those kids can dance! Outrageous choreography! What footwork! What acrobatics! And the musicians–especially the pianist (Gustavo Casenave, stepping in this afternoon for musical director Gabriel Clenar) and the bandoneon player, Hugo Satorre–are sensitive and fantastic. (And I’m usually not terribly fond of tango music.)
My favorite dancers are the tall, classy Cristian Gallardo and Betiana Botana, but this show puts it all together–perfect dancing, drama, wonderful music, costumes, lighting. I’d trim some of Javier Di Ciriaco’s rather monotonous song interludes. Do we need so many? And I might take out a musical interlude and a dance here and there to bring it down to manageable length. But, overall, this show is a wow!
Apollinaire responds:
Hi, Eva! Oh, I’m glad to hear it. Am going later this week, and now can look forward to it. (“Tango Fire” is at the Joyce through January 6, then goes on a national tour.)
Also I wanted to second your emotion on “Innaviews,” snagged from your website (the show ended yesterday, unfortunately):
Full Circle–those endearing hip-hop dancers, Kwikstep and Rokafella–are showing a new version of their popular “Innaviews,” directed by Gamal Chasten, at Dance Theater Workshop now through Saturday evening, and the update works. It’s a two-person show now with lots more of the full-out dancing for which this married couple is rightly acclaimed. It’s partly a wry look at how mainstream media and the entertainment industry get hip-hop all wrong and a tender account of the spark and flight of a love relationship (and working partnership) that’s still going strong. It lovingly and deftly traces the history of a couple and a culture undergoing change.
The show engages the audience from its very first moments. Full Circle and their creative team have added new visual elements–clever sets and set-like backdrops, videos and photos–and they have more sharply focused their spoken word segments, stories and comedic vignettes. But they also let their versatile hip-hop dancing do much of the talking, and that dancing speaks with conviction.
Apollinaire responds: “Endearing” is just the word. Also: low key, charming, self-knowing, sexy. It’s a pleasure to be in this twosome’s company.
I loved the structure of the piece–that they start us off in their home, in their graffiti bed with headboard and baseboard tagged wild style (designed by Garland Farwell. Worth the price of admission alone!). The whole show is about debunking the “outside” view of hip hop and taking us inside. So a bed made up for the public is a perfect place to begin.
I loved that, in undoing media cliches about hip hop–that everyone’s in it for the bling and they’re all thugs–they managed not to produce a whole other set of cliches (that they live on the streets–and so intensely for their art that problems like paying the bills never occur to them). “InnaViews” makes compelling drama out of the inherently less dramatic middle ground. No small feat!
Probably what I loved most was how Kwikstep and Rokafella portrayed their marriage–how excited they were to find each other a decade back and how they get on each other’s nerves even so. (The dancing for that section–the jigsaw of anger and love–told us so much so economically). Their always-young baby, Hiphopito, helped them hold it together.
I loved that when the question “Do we love hip hop more than each other?” rolled by on the screen, they knew there was no simple–and no right–answer. What wise people.

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