If the all-star creative team behind it is any indication, the world premiere of Arrabal, the new all-dance musical opening at Toronto’s Panasonic Theatre on Thursday and running through to April 20 should be nothing short of spectacular.
The co-choreographer/director is Colombian-born, Toronto-raised Sergio Trujillo, whose big break came as choreographer for the monster hit Jersey Boys in 2005. The composer, Argentina’s Gustavo Santaolalla, has two Oscars (for Brokeback Mountain and Babel) and 16 Grammy Awards to his credit. Santaolalla and his band Bajofondo are credited with creating the unique nuevo sound, a fusion of tango, folk, rock, hip hop, electronica, jazz and classical.
Arrabal is a coming-of-age love story set against the backdrop of Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983), when thousands of left-leaning dissidents were arrested and then disappeared. The set is a dilapidated milonga or tango bar with some audience members sitting at tables on the stage.
The dance is, the choreographers say, tango reinvented.