Chicago public is accustomed to classical concerts and may even be considered spoiled by quality performances, famous names, lavish venues and a variety of the repertories. It is hard to please and is even harder to surprise.
I am fortunate to know Ian Maksin personally and take pleasure in following his versatile career. So when I learned about his new performance concept TANGO FUSION (renamed: Tango Fusion) at the Chopin Theatre, I knew I would want to be there, if just to see how far his imagination could go.
The day of the opening night, the performance unfolds before a packed house with high expectations. Ian shares warmly — lit cozy theater stage with sublime pianist Ani Gogova and his low-key welcoming speech alludes to surprise guest appearances throughout the evening. As the sounds of the piano begin, Ian sits thoughtfully with his cello, almost meditating. His hand is holding the bow, eyes gazing at the strings. He slowly raises his arm and gently places the bow to the strings, almost caressing them, before finally unleashing his full weight and energy into them. As melancholy tango melody reaches various peaks on its journey, dancers appear and whirl in passionate embrace. Together with Ian and Ani, the dancers lead the audience through the edgy rhythms and complex, melodramatic mood of the Tango. Their chemistry intoxicates us and it is impossible to resist its empathic flair, subtle rhythmic thrusts and richness.
We are transported. And this is exactly what we came here for — to experience exotic emotion, to be transformed and possibly seduced by the dancer’s movements, by the sublimated eroticism of the Tango. As the performance ends, the dancers encourage the audience to get up and dance. Many do, leading their partners from their seats and dancing on stage.
Ian has a knack for finding and combining talent as well as unique ability to channel inspiration and capture listener’s imagination. Here is a thought — enjoy the performances. They are a real treat and will be gone before you know it.
Their next performances creatively dubbed “Tango Obsession” will be June 1 – 3 at Chopin Theatre located at 1543 W Division St, Chicago IL.
To purchase tickets call 773.278.1500 or visit http://www.eventbee.com/v/leftseat/boxoffice.
Photos by: Inna Kostukovsky, Marina Dudanova, Steve Ivanov and Ksenia Poulber