Saturday, 15 December 2018 | News today: 1

Libertango ballet on Piazzolla’s life to premiere Thursday

Macedonian Opera and Ballet’s Libertango, a production based on the music of Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla, will premiere on Thursday.

The tango-ballet performance will tell both Piazzolla’s life story and the story of the art form’s beginnings in Argentina in the 1910s. 

The one-hour show will feature recorded tango compositions and, according to Olga Pango, MOB’s Ballet Master in Chief, neoclassical ballet.

“The play has a neoclassical expression,” Pango said during Monday’s press conference. “We are giving a tango performance, but we haven’t left behind our pointe shoes.

“So this is a tango ballet telling the story of Piazzolla’s parents and himself as a child and as a grown man, his idea to become what he was and perform his music. We end with Libertango, his tango of freedom.”

Librettist and director Natasha Poplavska said the show passionately traces the origins of tango. They intentionally avoided café-style tango, she said, and settled on nuevo tango, a mix of classical, jazz, and folk sounds typical for the streets of Argentina.

Italian choreographer Sabrina Bosco designed the ballet. She said the performance was a result of great teamwork.

“I came to know the dancers, and not only their abilities but also their personalities,” Bosco said.

“I would like for viewers to feel what we experience on stage dancing the Libertango. The emotional response of the audience matters to me.”

Costume and set designer Aleksandar Nospal, who made the costumes himself, said tango ‘requires high aesthetics and refined style.’ The costumes’ colors and shapes were designed to reflect the three-part narrative, he explained.

“And the set is simple and easy to transform,” Nospal said, pointing out the production will look grand and expensive despite the limited budget and the financial challenges the team had to overcome.

“We’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices to put on productions lately,” Nospal added.

Poplavska agreed, saying that Macedonia’s culture shouldn’t rely solely on the state budget. The business sector could support the arts, she suggested, if a sponsorship law were adopted.

In Libertango, Piazzolla is played by Marko Zdravkovski (as a child), Simone Giroletti (as an adult), and Dragan Kochoski (as an old man).

Around thirty dancers make up the cast, including Aleksandra Mijalkova, Vasil Chichiashvili, Mimi Pop Aleksova Atanasovska, Igor Velanoski, Natasha Josifovska, Marija Josifovska Ristovska, Andrew Cook, Jan Kisilev and Miroslav Mitrashinovikj.

After Thursday’s premiere, Libertango will be reprised at the MOB on June 16.