Born in the slums of 19th century Buenos Aires, the tango survives today as the slinky, sensual pinnacle of dance as ritualized seduction. Among its fervent apostles is Estampas Portenas, a world-class Argentinean dance company whose 10-member ensemble performs a variety of duets and group pieces, ranging from historical tangos to more contemporary forms. For the latter, the troupe uses the music of the late composer Astor Piazzolla, the master of the tango nuevo, whose name is all but synonymous with the dance. Live accompaniment is provided by Quatrotango, a four-piece band that has toured with the show since 2005. Presented by Great Performances at Vanderbilt, the company offers a free lecture/demonstration at 5 p.m. prior to the scheduled event. For more information, visit vanderbilt.edu/greatperformances/0809/tango.html.
Thu., Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m., 2009