Although it hardly seems credible, there is case to be made that Finland, rather than Argentina, is the foremost tango country in the world, at least in terms of numbers. The most obvious indication that this is so is the annual Tangomarkkinat (tango festival) held in Seinäjoki, where over 150,000 people take part every year. Since the introduction of the popular Argentine dance in the early part of the 20th century, the tango has become one of Finland’s most enduring dances. However, it has definitely evolved into something very Finnish, with the music almost always performed in minor keys, and with a beat that seldom varies during a piece. The songs themselves have very Finnish themes, where the national aptitude for melancholy comes to the fore, with love, sorrow, nature and the countryside being predominant.
Between November 14th and 22nd audiences in Finland will be able to enjoy the considerably more effusive original form of tango, as the celebrated Broadway show Tango Pasíon tours a number of cities here. Now in its 20th year, the show has been an unqualified global success, garnering rave reviews wherever it has played. Tango Pasíon was created by Mel Howard and José Libertella when, in 1982, they decided to create a totally new and innovative tango spectacle for the stage. Joined by choreographer Hector Zaraspe and artist Ricardo Carpani, they spent months in Buenos Aires weaving together a collection of stories told in tango that would develop into a wholly new show. While there, they unearthed a cast of incredible dancers, with whom they brought the show for its inauspicious launch in a modest theatre in Miami. The show was an instant success, and moved to Broadway before it began touring the world to critical acclaim.
And tour the world it has. Tours of North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and even Libya, have all been well received. Tango Pasíon has played the Kremlin, the Lebanon, and even China – the first show of its kind to play there. The show features an unforgettable mix of music, song and dance; it is a sensual delight to watch, with memorable duets and passionate group dances.
Tango Pasíon will be at the Savoy Teatteri in Helsinki from November 14th through 17th, before relocating to the Sibeliustalo in Lahti on the 18th, then to Tampere-talo in Tampere for the 19th and 20th, before finishing with two nights in Turku’s Logomo on the 21st and 22nd.