Festival review: Colours of Tango; The Royal Scots Club (venue 241)

Share this article
Have your say

You don’t need to be born in Argentina to play Argentine tango. But if you’re going to sing about it, with all the passion the lyrics demand, then it certainly helps.

The musical line-up in new group TanGo On, therefore, works pleasingly well. Three Polish instrumentalists on violin, harp and accordion, complemented by Argentine vocalist Oscar Ernesto Ovejero.

Evoking a sense of South American atmosphere in the Royal Scots Club isn’t easy however, and it is on this front that the show feels a little flat. Musically, Colours of Tango is polished and enjoyable.

But when dancers Hannah Johnson and Facundo Menéndez take to the floor, we’re still not in Buenos Aires, and the movement feels a little clinical in its delivery. During a brief history lesson, we’re told that tango was once banned by the Pope for being “obscene”, but I get the feeling he would have green-flagged this duo.

Ovejero’s passionate delivery gives the songs their edge, and even without him, the musicians play each tune like it’s a story, rich with layers. But if this performance is to be elevated from a recital to a show, it needs a little more thought.

Kelly Apter

Rating: * * *

Until 18 August. Today 3pm.