Argentina Cultural Week brings tango, puppets, stunts
By Zhang Qian
Tango, drama, music, installation art and a puppet show will present a sophisticated art scene when the curtain rises on Argentina Cultural Week early next month.
Titled “Elegant, Decorative, Enthusiastic and Unrestrained,” the event will run from November 8 to 18 during the 15th Shanghai International Arts Festival.
Programs will be staged at both traditional theaters and commercial space for the first time in the festival's history.
“Bringing art programs to commercial venues will offer new exhibition space possibilities for the arts and attract more participation by ordinary citizens," says Liu Wenguo, artistic director of Shanghai International Arts Festival.
Argentine installation artist Leandro Erlich creates a new world of mirrors and shadows where visitors can become super heroes. From November 8 to 22 at the Jing An Kerry Center, visitors will see their reflected selves perform stunts such as floating in the air and climbing a wall using one hand — while they lie on the floor.
Tango, a symbol of Argentine culture, will highlight the week with a dance performance combining classical ballet and traditional Argentine tango.
“Taco, Puntay Traspie” by tango master Astor Piazzola — creator of “nuevo tango” — will be performed on November 15 at the Jing An Kerry Center and on November 17 at City Theater. Piazzola revolutionized tango, incorporating jazz and classical music.
Juan Pablo Ledo, lead dancer of Teatro Colon, will direct and star in the performance, together with the other eight finalists of the World Tango Dance Competition.
The black light puppet show “Little Luke Goes to School” will be staged on November 10 at City Theater. The background is totally black and puppets and props in fluorescent colors appear to stand out from the background, creating bizzare visual effects and an intriguing fantasy tour on Luke’s way to school.
In a black light show, puppetteers do not have to be hidden from view as in traditional puppet shows. As long as they are dressed in black, they are invisible, while glow-in-the-dark puppets appear to move and dance by themselves.
The peculiar life of a nontraditional family in Buenos Aires will be presented as grotesco criollo, a kind of absurdist theater that originated in Italy and is now performed all over Argentina.
“The Coleman Family” will be staged at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center Drama Salon on November 12 and 13.
Other programs include a concert of classical tango in an octet featuring accordionist Nestor Marconi, a master class by tango choreographer Milena Plebs, and a recital by pianist Nelson Goerner.