Footwork that can start a fire

“BREAK THE TANGO”, staged in Bangkok on September 22, was an electrifying dance performance of tango and hip-hop by renowned breakdancers and tango champions from around the world. 

The show was part of Bangkok’s 20th International Festival of Dance Music, which has more treats still ahead. 

Choreographer-director German Cornejo led the company through this unexpected fusion of dance, allowing the audience to witness a higher level of artistry, with each number flawlessly combining the strict discipline of tango and the free movement of street dance. 

The show started with a captivating piece that introduced the dancers in each of their styles. It combined the staccato footwork of tango and toprock of breakdance. 

Each segment had an element of surprise that kept audience members at the edge of their seats. We not only saw tango and hip-hop combined, but tango and ballet choreographed beautifully, as a dancer performs tango on pointe. There was also an aerial duet in which the dancers were spinning effortlessly in the air. And to top it off, there was an emotional contemporary breakdance fusion performed with intricate perfection that brought tears to the eyes. 

The dancers’ unbelievable strength showcased from the very beginning was only a part of their physical capabilities. Within the performance they continued to defy gravity in all their movements. 

Each dancer had a significant characteristic that blended and unified them perfectly. The female dancers’ extensions, flexibility and athleticism brought a sense of passion, grace and strength to their movements. Combined with the male dancers’ precision of footwork, fluidity and boldness, they created a perfect partnership. 

Never had we seen lightning-speed lifts and smooth transitions executed so effortlessly. It was one extraordinary stunt after another, leaving the audience amazed. The grounded movements of breakdancing created a perfect balance to the uplifted movements of tango, a balance that brought out a multilevel aesthetic in dancing. 

The show wouldn’t have been complete without the sensational music. Complementing this magnificent performance was the live band onstage. The vocalists were phenomenal as they filled the theatre with their voices, accompanied by the outstanding musicians that kept the music alive. 

Alongside performing, the band also continuously interacted with the audience, establishing a personal connection that made the show feel more intimate.

“Break the Tango” is near the top our list of the best dance performances to watch. The mixture of radical creativity, perfection of choreography and its ability to take your breath away is what makes it one of the greatest shows. If you have not seen it yet, make a commitment to watch. It’s worth any admission price.

The festival also features programmes of ballet, orchestra and dance. Check out the schedule at

Supporting the festival are the Crown Property Bureau, Bangkok Bank, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, BMW Thailand, B Grimm Group, Dusit Thani Bangkok, Indorama Ventures, Ministry of Culture, Nation Group, Major Cineplex, PTT, Singha Corp, Thai Union Group, Thai Airways International, Tourism Authority of Thailand and True Corp. 

The writers are dance teachers – Katrina at St Andrews International School of Bangkok and Karenina at the American School of Bangkok.

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