Our Last Tango. What Tango brings or brought to you life?
Our Last Tango (or, Un tango más)
chronicles the legacy of Argentine tango legends María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes. Copes and Rego were passionate dancers and passionate lovers off-stage. Their combined talent and skills helped bring the Argentine dance popularity across the globe.
However, this movie is less about the worldwide impact of their dancing, and more about the joys and pains of the love they once shared together. The movie has the two octogenarians being interviewed separately about their past. Though Copes is also asked questions about his life, this is more Maria’s story than his. After all, she is the one who endured the most pain after Copes repeatedly cheated on her and then eventually left her for another woman.
“If I were reborn, I would do it all again, be a tango dancer above all,”
Maria says while reflecting on her past. Seeing Maria glowing as she recalls her memories of tangoing under the moon and stars is charming. She recounts the glory of her youth, and tells many a story about how she spent her childhood longing for the thrills of the dance floor.
At one point she tells the camera,
“I was dancing because that was the joy of the poor.”
In one scene, Maria returns to the dance hall where she first met Juan. She recounts the way she felt when she first laid eyes on him and muses on the flames of romance that fluttered in her heart at the time. Unfortunately for her, Juan turned out to be a bit of cad - he exemplified the stereotypical machismo dancer, and his eyes frequently wandered. He himself says in the doc that he did not belong to Maria, Maria belonged to him. This dynamic of active vs passive worked well in their dance routines because Juan was able to play the lead so well.
However, in their actual relationship, they couldn’t find the balance in the same way they could find it on the dance floor. Maria’s laments of lost love are poignant, and it embodies the spirit of tango music.
After all, tango often touches on sadness and nostalgia.
The movie utilizes archive footage of the two dancing together in their youth. It is incredibly exciting to see their chemistry and their skills at their peak. It also provides an interesting insight into the tango fashion of the different time periods over the course of their career. One recording in particular appears to be from the 70’s, and the tango dress Maria is wearing is stunning in all its colorful, vintage glory. Usually, though, the movie has other dancers reenacting Maria and Juan’s routines. Maria and Juan themselves actually coached these other dancers on-screen so that they could authentically represent them in their portrayals. These dancers reenact one of the most iconic dance routines that Maria and Juan ever performed - the two would get on a tiny table and do an intricate routine within the tight space. Maria said that she always feared that her tango shoes would step right off the table, but Juan recounts that he was always confident. At other points in the documentary, these dancers perform interpretive dances that convey the tumultuous emotions felt by the dancers during the lows of their relationship. One scene has a dancer, representing Maria, flinging Juan’s belongings down from the top of the stairs in a rage. The dancer portraying Juan does an intricate and fluid routine along the banister of the staircase. It’s a very intense and captivating performance, and it’s just as innovative as the actual routines that Juan and Maria came up with themselves in their heyday.
At the end of the film, Juan and Maria unite for one final dance.
After listening to the two of them recount the epic highs and lows of their relationship, it is incredibly touching to see them lock eyes once again. This right here is the true essence of the tango. They truly embody the culture, not only because of their celebrity dancer status, but because their actual love lives reflect the stories told in the music and dance of the tango.
The movie is brilliant and fascinates to see our dear friend maestra talent ALEJANDRA GUTTY, the greatest gentleman maestro Pancho Martinez Pey in it. The movie emphasizes a lot emotions that Tango brings into our lives. SO the question is
What Tango brings or brought to you life?