The talk of tango

As a boy, Marcos Ayala heard recordings of Astor Piazzolla and was entranced. The music stirred something in him, made him want to listen closely and inspired him to move. Though he had not yet considered the option of becoming a tango dancer, the seeds for a bright career were planted. In fact, Piazzolla would go on to play a huge role in the gifted performer’s life and would eventually become the inspiration for Astor Tango, which Ayala will present this month as part of the Suzanne Dellal Center’s Tel Aviv Dance Festival.

“I discovered tango little by little. I listened to the music of Astor Piazzolla and I fell in love with that genre. Then I discovered other tango authors and found beauty in their works. I think that when I started dancing tango, I only did it out of curiosity about dance. And then, without realizing it, dance was a fundamental part of my life. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else that has nothing to do with tango, dance in general or performing arts,” explained Ayala in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post. “The creative process began… with an idea I had a long time ago, to make a work inspired by Piazzolla, whom I admire very much. It was difficult to want to make a choreographic work with his music and… what we wanted to tell using that music. We did not want to make a biographical story. Then, with time, we could understand what Piazzolla meant for the time he lived, how his peers treated him for his creations. I understood that he was ahead of his time and that he was judged for being different and creating compositions that broke with the parameters established at the time.”

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Piazzolla was born in Argentina to Italian immigrants and spent his early life in Mar del Plata before moving to New York City. He spent much of his childhood roaming the streets of lower Manhattan. His father went to a pawn shop and bought him a bandoneon, a type of concertina akin to the accordion. Piazzolla was hooked. His natural prowess and drive took him from New York back to Argentina. That almost cost him his life, as Piazzolla was offered a place on a tour that ended in a tragic plane crash. From there he went to Paris and back home. He released several albums, which, due to their fusion of jazz and classical styles with tango, were received with mixed reviews.

In Ayala’s homage to Piazzolla, he focuses on the various emotional states and tempos expressed in the music. “I love its versatility, how light and dark this music is, the nuances of feelings that each musical piece hides. A person listens to a tango and can go from sadness and melancholy to happiness and nostalgia with a single piece of music,” he said.
In the 90 minutes of Astor Tango, Ayala and his company combine tradition with innovation. The performance plays with composition, dynamics and theatricality while still presenting the sharp lines and physical tension that tango is known for.
“I would say that the performance is bold, thoughtful and exciting,” said Ayala.

The Marco Ayala Tango Company will perform Astor Tango at the Suzanne Dellal Center on August 19-24. For more information, visit .

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