Two to tango in Beaver Creek |

Two to tango in Beaver Creek

Daily staff report
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Got the mid-winter blahs or in need of some warm temperatures? Then head up to Beaver Creek for a fiery winter dance fix Wednesday evening, as “Tango Fire” brings the raw energy, sensuality and provocation of one of the world’s most intoxicating dance forms to the Vilar Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.

“With tickets for the 2009 Vail International Dance Festival going on sale this week we’re seeing tickets literally flying out of the box office for the annual installment of ‘Ballroom’s Best’ on Aug. 10,” said Kris Sabel, executive director for the Vilar Performing Arts Center. “With ‘Tango Fire’ coming to the VPAC, you won’t have to wait until August to get your spicy dance fix.”

Ballroom’s Best has become a hallmark of the Vail International Dance Festival over the last three years. The evening features a wide mix of exhibition dance styles, set to popular music. The performance has sold out every summer since its inception, and 2009 doesn’t look to be any different.

“One of the reasons we wanted to bring this incredible showcase of Tango to the VPAC is because we know how strong the fanbase here is for this particular genre of dance,” Sabel said. “If you think you have to wait until this summer, think again!”

Tango began in the backstreets and brothels of Buenos Aires. Like the flamenco in Spain, it grew in popularity as the national dance the more Argentina was dominated by outside influences.

Tango Fire opens in a smoky replica of a dance hall, with band, singer and five black-haired men cruising and appraising the women, offering invitations to dance with a discreet raise of the eyebrow to avoid humiliation should they be refused. This first set offers a series of intimate duets and ensemble dances, focused on “Milonga,” a countryside dance from the early 19th century. Along with the blazing duets, there is even a staged fight for the men that transforms into a rousing unison dance.

Part two segues into modern tango, with couples adding complicated lifts and daring speed to their numbers, their legs cutting and dividing the air like machetes. Other dancers perform tangos where the tension gives way to voluptuous softness and powerful overhead lifts melt into the floor in silken extensions.

At first, Tango Fire is a nostalgic throwback to the roots of tango, all cocktail skirts, tailored suits and fiery jealousy. By the end of the show, a distinctly modern take on the dance comes through, with unusual moves showing the influence of other forms of dance, coupled with music that seems utterly contemporary.

The Vail Valley Foundation is also offering a rare opportunity to win a free Tango lesson for two from the stars of Tango Fire, along with dinner for two at Saddleridge, just for signing up to receive the Vilar Center’s e-mail updates on specials and new shows.

To enter, just visit and fill out the form. New members must enter the word TANGO in the comments field, while current members are automatically entered to win. The winner will be notified on Friday.

Tango Fire tickets are priced at $60 apiece and are available online at, by phone at 888-920-ARTS(2787) or in person at the Vilar Center box office in Beaver Creek.

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