Tango is a renowned art form, and Min-On is fortunate to have collaborated with professionals in the genre for 51 years since this cultural exchange began in 1970. Since then, Min-On has hosted over 2,500 tango live events in Japan!
Aside from being a provocative art form, tango represents the struggle of marginalized people. It’s more than music and dance—tango inspires people to seek peace and solidarity across national borders. Min-On is proud to promote this wonderful and inspiring art form through this series to provide Japan with invaluable exposure to the vibrant culture of tango.
On February 20, 2020, the Min-On Dramatic Tango concert series descended upon Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo, featuring Quinteto Grande. Mr. Matias Grande’s popular quintet featured bass, cello, piano, violin and of course, bandoneon—the quintessential instrument that defines tango’s vibrant sound.
As is common for tango performances, first half of the evening was dedicated the classical side of the genre. However, overall the performance was notably focused on the instrumental side of tango, although also full of bombastic and acrobatic dance moves by the dancers that appeared as either one, two or three pairs of female-male tango artists.
Notable songs from the concert included:
The first song of the night, Melodia oriental was an instrumental number that set the stage for an evening of tango excitement, featuring an exotic violin solo.
Quejas de bandoneón
During the first half of the evening, the audience was introduced to the bandoneon in its full glory. A fiery rendition by the full band, this song featured the dancers Luciana and Federico in a riveting single pair dance routine that featured an acrobatic display of the full splits by Luciana.
Again drawing on the instrumental importance of the tango genre, this somber, bass-driven ballad showcased the depth of emotion necessary to present a compelling tango performance. A famous and old traditional tango number, it is surprisingly melodic in comparison with other traditional tunes.
Keeping in tradition with the Quinteto Grande performance throughout the night, the final song of the evening was again an instrumental performance, this time a number dedicated to Min-On Founder Daisaku Ikeda. The original song by Quinteto Grande was a fast-paced and passionate tune that served perfectly as an ode to the long-standing cultural exchange activities of Min-On, initiated by Dr. Ikeda.
After Capricho Anunciado, all members of the Quinteto Grande took the stage again, dancers included, for a lively encore that showcased all the sensational instrumental and dance flourishes of the evening. Argentine Ambassador to Japan, His Excellency Mr. Alan Claudio Beraud was also in attendance, and presented a flower bouquet to the members of Quinteto Grande after their performance.
Our sincere thanks to everyone that made Quinteto Grande’s performance in this 51st year of the Min-On Tango Series possible. We hope that the history of tango inspires you to build bridges of peace through cultural exchange, in Japan and across the globe.