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San Miguel’s Kiss of the Spider Woman Steeped in Tango

By Alan Jordan

When I start to do research on a play that I am considering for production, I usually start by listening to music of the period and location.

With Kiss of the Spider Woman, the music of Argentina was inspirational, and while working at home, I always had incredible tango music playing in the background.

As I was listening to various artists, I came across videos of two men dancing the Argentine tango together. It was very unique. I researched the history of this man-to-man dance, and my vision for this production started to materialize.

Enter Ezequiel Agreda and Lupita Guerrero, tango dancers and choreographers extraordinaire. My vision became clearer as I watched the dances come to life. I was thrilled with Agreda and Guerreo’s creativity and patience with the actors. Yes, there is some dancing in the show, but it is by no means a musical … and in my mind it shouldn’t be.

Here is a little history of man-to-man tango.

Tango, foremost, was the dance of the “lower class” in Argentina. There evolved a culture in Buenos Aires in which it was acceptable for tango to be danced in the streets. Before tango was danced between men, there was a culture where it was quite common for couples to dance out in the open. But in the early 1900’s, tango was changed forever by European immigration. It became unacceptable for women to dance in the streets. However, men being men, they still wanted to do what they wanted to do—dance! Some men went to venues where it was acceptable to dance, but many others had no option other than to continue dancing in the streets, and their only choice was to dance with other men.

Normally it would take about a year until a young man was promoted to start leading. Then, when the man was ready, he would finally be escorted with another more experienced man to a milonga for an arranged dance with a woman.

Kiss of the Spider Woman….a classic play. Tango…a classic dance.

 

Theater

Kiss of the Spider Woman

Manuel Puig

Directed by Alan Jordan

Nov 29–Dec 9

Shelter Theater

Vicente Guerrero 4, col San Rafael

Reserved Seating:

250 pesos and 300 pesos

Online Tickets:

sheltervg4.com

Doors open at half hour for refreshments in our cafe

Christian Baumgartner and Rodrigo Demian

 

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