Violetta's Last Tango

Mon 11th – Sun 17th August 2014

reviews

Gender Trouble

at 23:07 on 11th Aug 2014

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'Violetta's last tango' follows ageing Buenos Aeries soprano, Violetta, who sings passionate tango songs every night for her clients. When she encounters a dancer in the street she is greeted with memories of desire, jealousy and lost love.

The venue, reached after a lengthy walk into Newtown, resonates with the prospect of a dignified evening: think marble tiled walls, red curtains, circular tables with lashings of candles. Libeck's singing is equally sublime and never once harsh or out of tune.

Although at times very moving, LIbeck's performance can sometimes spill over into overacting as she clutches onto the wine glass with two hands and holds onto her shawl for support. However, this is easily compensated for by the sublimity of her singing, not to mention her swiftness across the dance floor in what was (frankly) a pretty dodgy looking pair of heels.

With music ranging from Bizet to Puccini, 'Violetta's Last Tango' succeeds in showcasing a variety of arias in a fluid and structured way. The music is utterly sensational, as is the dance. A sublime evening well worth attending.

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Rob Collins

at 09:28 on 12th Aug 2014

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It’s hard to know where to begin with this production, but given that very little made sense once it had actually started it seems only fair to note that the venue was stunning. The grand auditorium in the Ghillie Dhu was the perfect choice for this bizarre evening, it’s just a shame that what followed didn’t live up to expectations.

The show tells the story of Violetta, an ageing cabaret singer in Buenos Aires, through a series of dances and songs. I know this because I read the blurb before I went to the show. It’s a very good thing I did because otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue. The show essentially functioned as an excuse to chuck a load of different songs together of varying styles that was frankly bizarre. The singing in general was okay, (though at times the performers lacked control), but it was hard to tell because the music (which suffered from similar problems to the singers) was so loud that distinguishing any detail of the music, let alone any words was almost impossible. The dance too was a strange mix of styles. The tango was imprecise, and there seemed to be far more ballet influences than I would have thought necessary for an evening such as this.

The use of a screen at the back of the auditorium was a nice idea but offered only badly translated portions of text, the occasional piece of film which made no sense and pictures which were nothing more than a distraction.

It’s a real shame because there was genuine passion in the performers, Ann Liebeck and Nuno Silva. It's just that this never translated into their actual performances which seemed nervous whenever there was dancing and singing to do at the same time. The pair just didn’t have personality sufficient to fill the space.

Overall then, Violetta’s Last Tango was a nice(ish) idea that was delivered in a bizarre and unfocused way. What a pity.

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