Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, M!longa review

Cherkaoui’s vision of the milonga (which refers to a tango get-together) is a tempting blend of traditional and modern, a delicious experimentation of old and new.

The Flemish-Moroccan choreographer brings his different cultural influences to the world of tango, pushing the rigid boundaries of this art form dangerously yet ingeniously.

Through the virtuosity of six couples – 5 tango and 1 contemporary – a superb live band and a play of video projections, Cherkaoui transports us directly to Buenos Aires for an evening of passion, surprise, and a bit of humour too.

Expect a male trio lifting and embracing each other, a captivating ménage à trois where a male dancer tangoes his way around two ladies, a contemporary performance fusing music, movement and stage, and of course, the electricity of the tango itself, majestically executed by each couple.

“We grow up with this illusion that there are borders, that ballet, hip hop or tango are these forms that – sadly in my view – have been put into little boxes. Bu their box is much bigger than people think. I want to show that”, says Cherkaoui.


Whether you are a firm believer in traditions or a curious adventurer, M!longa has something for all tastes. But it does not let go of the sacred tango’s defining feature – the intoxicating connection between dancers.

“As a dancer”, Cherkaoui explains, “I have always been searching for connection and tango is the ultimate physical connection between two beings. It’s an art form that draws from physical contact; dancers don’t have to see each other, just to feel each other.

That sense of being entwined is a beautiful, chemical reaction between two people. I have always been deeply drawn to that in all my work.”

That strong, unbreakable connection between dancers is at every turn, lift and dip. It is dazzling from beginning to end.

Farah Hesdin

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