Program Notes-Into the Tango


Choreography: Alexander Richardson

Dancers: Erin Scott-Kafadar & Alexander Richardson


Join Erin and Alexander as they take you on their personal journey INTO THE TANGO of Buenos Aires.  Having fallen in love dancing ballet together in Montréal, Canada, Erin and Alexander moved to Buenos Aires to discover the roots of tango and create their new dance company, PointeTango.  In this real life story audiences are transported to the streets of Buenos Aires to witness the passion and intimacy of two lovers alone in a new city.


1. Spring, recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons

The opening scene is fresh and alive with the sounds of birds and nature awakening after a cold winter.  Cocooned in a transparent bubble two dancers expand and retract as they begin their metamorphosis into the tango.  They shed their skin and learn to move together as one.  This scene finishes with time standing still… hands touching and legs pointing as they discover their first abrazo -The Tango embrace!

2. Infierno Porteño by Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro

This punk tango, entitled “Infierno porteño” or “Buenos Aires Hell” by Orquesta Fernández Fierro sets the tone for this dance of protest and outrage against injustice in our world.  In solemn gloom, two protesters hide their faces with the green pañelo of the Campaña Nacional por el Derecho al Alborto Legal, Seguro y Gratuito and prepare to  join the thousands on Avenida 9 de Julio in el Centro, Buenos Aires.  Cautious and grave these two heavy hearted souls dance a fierce tango as they walk, run and leap through the streets.

This tango is a tribute to all who have suffered and continue to suffer and die at the hands of those who wield cruel and unjust power, and to those who stand against tyranny and oppression. #Ahora es cuando (Now is the time)

Inferno Portenoahora es cuando.jpgsolidarity


3. Clair de lune by Claude Debussy

After a restless night, Erin awakens, and is startled to discover she is alone.  Searching for signs of her beloved she finds only a trace of him and the green pañelo that he covered his face with the night before.   The soft, dreamy piano of Debussy begins and she remembers the last few days in Buenos Aires and yearns for his return.

Sensing her distress, Alexander returns.   Now joyful and tranquil,  Erin and Alexander dance a traditional Argentine tango to this non-traditional song.  Silence and their breath guide them as they move to the soft notes of the piano and the quick rolling arpeggios of one of Debussy’s great masterpieces.

Inside story:

*Choreographer, Alexander Richardson was a contemporary composer and concert pianist before entering the world of Argentine tango.  It has been nine years since he left Montréal for Buenos Aires and his time at McGill and Concordia University studying and composing music.  This classical piano piece is a dedication to the past and his deep love and conviction for the complexity and heart of classical music and beauty of Argentine tango that now inspires him.

Transition “La Últimate Grela, words and voice Horacio Ferrer Click (Here for lyrics and translation)

This is a poem by one of Argentine’s greatest poet’s who was deeply connected to the life of tango and was a lyricist and friend to Astor Piazzolla.  This brief spoken word talks about  the city and the places, sights and sounds of the old milongueros as they return to home and work after a night out dancing. This transition is used to introduce the audience to the next three pieces that showcase the devotion  that Erin and Alexander have for traditional Argentine tango.

4. Palomita Blanca by Anibal Troilo y Roberto Grela

This traditional Argentine tango Vals features one of the great bandoneonist , Anibal Troilo.  His simple and heartfelt playing is accompanied by the beautiful guitar of Roberto Grela.

5. La Cumparcita by Juan D’Arienzo, 1961 recording

Classic show tango, “tango scenario”.  Danced in traditional  tango heels, this piece shows off the technique and artistry of Erin and Alexander, as they take on one of the most famous tangos of all time.

Watch below the intensity and drive of Juan D’Arienzo conducting his Orquesta

6 La Milonga de Buenos Aires by Francisco Canaro (Click Here for lyrics and translation)

Fun and upbeat,  this is a lively Milonga by another amazing Orquesta, Francisco Canaro. Canaro is one of the most popular and successful tango recording artist of all time. Recorded in 1939.

7. El Huracán by Orquesta Edgardo Donato (Click Here for lyrics and translation)

A change is coming! As the winds blows and howls, the stage is shaken with the sounds of an oncoming storm.  Lost in the chaos of the  storm a pointe shoe is blown across the stage.  What is Erin to do with only one pointe shoe and one tango heel?   The story of the tempest and the hurricane unfolds.

8. Borges y Paraguay by Bajofondo

As the storm subsides, Alexander  catches Erin to dance a tango that combines the sleek, hypnotic movements of the street mixed with moments of frenzied energy.  This choreography is a world premier by the multi-talented Erin Scott-Kafadar and marks the a ground breaking first  to dance tango with one foot in a tango heel and the other in a classical pointe shoe.

Inside story

*This year Erin and Alexander moved close to the corner of Borges and Paraguay in the trendy neighbourhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires.  This electronic tango composed by the band Bajofondo is inspired by  the hip nightlife of this unique and funky barrio.

9. Te Amo poem by Pablo Neruda (Click Here for poem and translation)

10. Tanguera by Sexteto Mayor

Now becoming a classic in PointeTango’s repertoire.  Tanguera is a slick, clean and powerful number that demonstrates the fierce speed and precision  of pointe work to Argentine tango.

11. Easy by Sun Lux

Contemporary pop song, with a contemporary twist, dance movement invented by the distinct movement vocabulary of PointeTango.  Is this the end or the beginning of the transformation of two dancers journeying deep into the tango…