CHANTECLER, L’ÂGE D’OR DU TANGO ARGENTIN
by Delphine Goater
Theatre du Chatelet. 10 / X / 13. Chantecler Tango. Design and management choreographic Mora Godoy. Booklet: Mora Godoy and Stephen Rayne. Original music and arrangements: Gerardo Gardelin. Directed by: Stephen Rayne. Sets: Julieta Ascar. Costumes: Cecilia Monti. Lights: Cristian Tateossian. Choreography Team: Mora Godoy, Horacio Godoy, Ignacio Gonzalez Cano, Manuco Firmani, Graciela Calo, Gustavo Wons. With Mora Godoy, Horacio Godoy, Marcos Ayala, “Black” Rodriguez Mendez, Ariel Perez, Graciela Calo, Marcela Vespasiano, Silvia Fuentes, Natalia Patyn Martin Almiron, Giovanna Di Vicenzo and dancers of the troupe. Orchestra: Juan Miguens, management and bass, Lucas Furno, violin, Juan Pablo Gallardo, piano and Leonel Gasso, bandoneon.
Five years after Tanguera, the Théâtre du Châtelet welcomes new tango ballet dancer and choreographer Mora Godoy, created in 2012 in Buenos Aires. He resurrects the famous Chantecler cabaret, who knew its golden age in the 30s and 40s, before being closed in the 50s.
The opportunity for the choreographer and director Stephen Rayne to set the stage many back and forth between past and present, while the Chantecler building, now closed, has been sold. Flashbacks, artfully brought, restore delicious scenes rehearsal or intimate moments, but also more dramatic. The second act, in particular, takes us into the smoky atmosphere of Buenos Aires underworld prewar, gambling dens to hotel rooms. These evocations are supported by historical tangos sung by “Black” Rodriguez Mendez accompanied by four musicians.
The director does not forget the present, allowing it to modernize both the music (Gerardo Gardelin arrangements) and choreography in a bold dusting. The Argentine company, a very high technical level indeed shows in this show a dazzling array of all tango styles: retro, dramatic, dreamy, jazzy, to the most contemporary tango. The dancers are remarkable, beginning with the hostess, Mora Godoy, who plays the role of lead dancer and his brother, the stunning and subtle Horacio Godoy, in the role of the Cuban prince. The other soloists camp of colorful characters, supported by a narrative and effective drama. For its part, the company, which shines in very eclectic sets, won the support of an entire audience delighted aficionados of tango. Result: two hours removed and entertaining show, with no false note …
Photo Credit: © Marie-Noëlle Robert for the Théâtre du Châtelet