Press on “Maria de Buenos Aries”:
The bizarre language of the «Russian engineering Theatre AKHE» is a feast of self-sufficient expression of patina and surfaces of all ever possible Materials.
A mistery, as we believed – in contemporary art, – lost forever.
Tango on Pointe shoes. Tango barefoot on outspread coffee. Vanilla. Buenos Aires. A play on naked women with a glass of red wine. Morning coffeee. And the morning itself. And three new summer clothes without which there’s no summer. And a love without which there’s nothing at all.
Endless astonishment of the spectateur. The tragedy on life and dead of „Maria“ changes irreversibly into a tricky and crazy farce. After the play one feels the need to go dancing tango learn Spanish and move out to Argentina forever. But you do the less: you drink a cup of coffee and read some „Cortazar“…
Press on “Maria de Buenos Aries”: Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2010
Within seconds, a shrouded woman has removed a slab of sirloin from her underwear and plonked it, crackling and sizzling, into a frying pan. Blood siphons from another’s sleeves and is downed with gusto by two moustachioed pierrots. Handfuls of dust fly through the air. Knives scrape and pierce the wooden stage. Come the end, the same woman – the lady of the steak – is encased in a giant bubble, singing in an empty snowdome.
Astor Piazzolla (1991-1992) creatively transformed Tango music in Argentina moving away from the traditional. Piazzolla and Ferrer created this Tango Operita together in 1968. Maria is a personification of Argentinian Tango and the piece is an allegory of ‘the fall of Buenos Aries’ musical soul and its renaissance’.
Musical theatre matters Review
I had little idea what this piece was about either before I saw it and I have little idea after I have seen it but I don’t care – I found it beautiful and truly theatrical.
Apparently it is a «tango operita» by Astor Piazzolla based on a text by the Argentine poet Horacio Ferrer.
This endlessly inventive production starts with onstage vaginal Ready Steady Cook and only gets weirder from there.
The set and prop work overshadow everything else. The show’s programme warns the story is indecipherable, and the music and singing go unnoticed when someone is using a neon pasta-maker attached to the singer’s head.
This show has been dividing opinion this month. Indeed, at this performance an entire row walked out halfway through, yet the show closed to rapturous applause and cries of “bravo!”.
The show opens with a fairly shocking visual statement of intent which may turn more delicate stomachs but gives a strong clue as to what is to follow, for this piece is less a narrative, more a sensual poem that could have come directly from Dali’s paintbrush.
Maria de Buenos Aires is a version of Astor Piazzolla’s 1960s tango operita of the same name – reworked as a mesmeric and visually stunning music-theatre extravaganza. It is directed by Swiss Italian Guiliano di Capua, now resident in St Petersburg, and created in collaboration with Russian ‘theatre of engineering’ maestros Akhe (who previously won a Total Theatre Award for White Cabin). There’s more: the cast includes Argentinian Italian diva Gabriela Bergallo, and there’s a live tango orchestra (the magnificent Remolino Ensemble) – not to mention some astonishing tango dancing, including a breathtaking sequence danced en pointe. Oh, and the ‘perfume designer’ is Nicola Di Capua. Yes, there are things to smell (fresh mint; burnt chocolate) as well as to see, hear, feel, and marvel at.
Even if your Spanish is non-existent (and perhaps especially if your Spanish is non-existent) the evocative tango music that pervades throughout this bizarre and at times visually breathtaking show is the true driving force of the piece.
A programme note warns audience members going into this anarchic reinterpretation of Astor Piazzolla’s already surreal 1968 ‘tango opera’ not to worry about following any sort of narrative. Thus released, you’re free to let teeming chaos wash over you. Loosely, this is about Maria, the spirit of Argentine Tango, distilled here into the voluptuous, corseted form of Argentine chanteuse Gabriela Bergallo. Really, it’s a full-throated love song to the passionate, pungent corners of Buenos Aires.
Consider Maria de Buenos Aires, operita from 1968 by the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. It concerns a young woman so seduced by tango music that she becomes a prostitute, but who is eventually resurrected from spiritual death by giving birth to a new self. The surreal source material has been freely adapted by Teatro Di Capua, based in St. Petersburg.
Do not expect to understand the text or to follow a linear story, warns Russia’s Teatro Di Capua in the programme notes. Which is just as well, because you could wear out valuable brain cells trying to figure this one out. Billed as a tango operita, Maria de Buenos Aires is 90 minutes of relentless activity.