Monday, April 15, 2024
April 15, 2024

Award-winning Payadora Ensemble on stage March 22

BY KIRSTEN BOLTON

For ArtSpring

Get ready to be whisked off your feet by Tangomania when the South American-inspired Payadora Ensemble takes to the stage at ArtSpring Friday, March 22.

Officially endorsed by the Argentinian Consulate in Toronto for its adherence to the spirit of tango, the award-winning Payadora has had global audiences flocking to its lively performances since 2013, each of which set out to convey a signature joy, virtuosity, humour and, of course, passion.

The ensemble performs its own arrangements of a core repertoire drawing from the Argentinian/Uruguayan traditions of tangos, milongas, waltzes and folk music such as the zamba and chacarera, as well as original songs inspired by those traditions.

Comprised of five musicians who are each noted to be musical powerhouses in their own right, this “superstar group” has combined their profound love of tango with their classical, jazz and world music backgrounds to create something entirely new.

This new twist has extended into collaborations with the London Symphonia, the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony, as well as PointeTango Dance Company, which explores the intersection between classical dance and earthy tango.

In the spring of 2023, the group released its third and latest CD, the critically acclaimed Silent Tears: The Last Yiddish Tango, which reached #1 on the World Music Charts in Europe, accompanied by rave reviews, airtime and press coverage including the BBC, CBC television and radio, the Bangkok Post, NPR and RTE Irish Public Radio. Of the album, one WholeNote Magazine reviewer declared it was simply “the most memorable release I have ever had the privilege to listen to and review.”

Payadora comes to Salt Spring after its November 2023 tour of South America, a huge success for the ensemble, which included winning Best New Piece at the 2023 Yiddish Music Awards in São Paolo.

Leading up to this concert, ArtSpring partnered with Salt Spring’s local tango society Por el Amor al Tango to offer a morning lesson last Sunday for curious beginners to learn the basics of dancing the tango. The instructors were Lya Elcagu from Buenos Aires and Ivan Aleksandrov from Ottawa, who were on island as guest teachers at Por el Amor al Tango’s popular monthly milonga (tango dance) event on March 9.

“This was a fun initiative to reach out and connect community to the theme of what was coming to ArtSpring and also provide a bit of an enriched experience,” said Howard Jang, ArtSpring’s executive and artistic director, who himself participated on the dance floor. “Partnering with local groups, clubs and experts to create public programming and more connections is something we are keen to keep building.”

Tickets for next Friday’s show are on sale at tickets.artspring.ca or at the box office Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Theatre Angel tickets are available for $15 one week prior to ArtSpring Presents shows in person or by phone. Youth tickets cost only $5.

ArtSpring thanks Gérald Tibbits for sponsoring this performance.

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