Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kicho - The Man and The Dance

It's the art that matters, not the words. Although in this case, the art is all we have so there is no real choice. Today's video is a dance posted by a YouTuber from Venezuela. And that is all we know. No names for the dancers. No choreographer credits. No venue. No title for the song to which they are dancing. Just the art of the dance itself.

That art was enough to feature it in today's blog. The music, I believe - although my friend Pedro-with-the-golden-ears is not available to confirm, is Kicho. Kicho was written specifically for bassist, Enrique "Kicho" Díaz. Kicho played with Piazzolla in Anibal Troilo's orchestra and was part of a small group which "tested" Piazzolla's homework when he was studying composition with Alberto Ginastera. He was a member of the first Quintet and continued to play with Piazzolla until 1976 when he departed to join the Sexteto Mayor. Kicho died in 1992.

Piazzolla recorded Kicho only once - on the CD, Piazzolla en el Regina, with Kicho on the contrabass. It is rarely heard and creating a dance to it required one of those creative leaps which separate the artists from the rest of us. I am no judge of dance but found this video to be compelling. Watching it was a bit like reading a le Carré novel: I know there is a story there but I just can't quite figure it out.

Note: Shortly after posting this blog, I learned that the dancers are formally trained ballet dancers and are husband and wife from Venezuela and Columbia. They have performed the work for over ten years and this particular performance was at a recent gala in Venezuela. The work was choreographed in 1987, by the well known Argentine choreographer, Julio Lopez, who has choreographed many of Piazzolla's works. My thanks to the dancers for providing this additional information.

Additional Note: The video has been voluntarily removed by the poster. It may return. Meanwhile, there is a link on the Julio Lopez site which allows you to download a video of an excerpt from the original performance of this ballet if you are interested.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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