Esa ràfaga, el tango, esa diablura
los atareados años desafia
hecho de polvo y tiempo el hombre dura
menos que la liviana melodia
que solo es tiempo
That devilry, the tango, that wind gust
surely defies the over toiled years
made of dust and time; man endures
less than the nimble melody, which only is time.
— El Tango, by Jorge Luis Borges
An exhibition of tango dancing this weekend at the newly named Segerstrom Center for the Arts comes with a bonus: It also will allow the audience to get in on the action.
In Tango Buenos Aires' "Fire and Passion of Tango," attendees will be given the chance to learn the history, evolution and fundamentals of tango while viewing several different styles of the dance.
In addition, ticket holders will be given free tango lessons at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Arts Plaza adjacent to Segerstrom Hall, as part of the Center's Free for All Series.
"The tango comes from an underground dance," company Musical Director Emilio Kauderer said. "Because of its passion and its powerful sense of rhythm, it quickly got the attention of the big ballrooms, and it became more of a crossover around the world. It's difficult these days not to think of romance without having in mind the tango."
A little more than 100 years ago, the common people of Buenos Aires developed a new dance that also was based on European and African influences. It initially was shunned by the upper classes for its physical nature, before taking Paris and the world by storm in the decades to come. Since then, it has been embraced by audiences worldwide for its technical difficulty and aesthetic beauty.
Considered the world's most authentic company of tango dancers, Tango Buenos Aires brings Argentina's top performers on world tours where they may showcase their skills.
Originally created by composer Osvaldo Requena more than 20 years ago for a Buenos Aires festival, the company now thrives under the artistic leadership of Kauderer and choreographer Susana Rojo.
Kauderer is best known in the United States for his work as a film composer, including the 2010 Oscar-winning foreign film "The Secret in Their Eyes," the Latin version of the score for Disney's "High School Musical," and American films including "Conversations with God" and "Friends & Lovers." He also composed the main title song and additional music for Showtime's "Dead Like Me" series.
Rojo was one of the first tango dancers to perform worldwide in countries like China that had never seen the art form before, and has studied with countless tango masters while developing her skills in other dance forms and disciplines.