Many tales have been told about Tango
yet, deep under the surface
as with each and every authentic being,
lies a secret.
Jorge Luis Borges
IN THE TANGO SUBURBS
It all began towards the end of the 19th century, in the suburbs close to the Mataderos of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where in huge warehouses the Gauchos brought cattle to be slaughtered. Here, in the rough outskirts of the city, drenched in a profusion of blood and mud, amid the carnal agitation of local brothels, Tango was born.
It is this rich, raw, violent, yet ever sensuous tale of Gauchos, immigrants, and hustlers, that the pianist Céline Bishop and the singer and flutist Luis Rigou, bring to us Tango Secret.
Accompanied by Simone Tolomeo (bandoneon) and Mauricio Angarita (Double bass) and by Los Guardiola, an extraordinary duo of mime and dance, this combination of songs, dance, music and visual poetry, illustrates the metamorphosis and influences of this miniature opera – from its birth in the brothels to world recognition – to reveal rare and forgotten treasures.
In a captivating and powerful show, where authentic Tangos, Milongas and Criollo waltzes cross paths, Céline Bishop and Luis Rigou pay a sensitive spirited, emotional and sincere tribute to this music from the soul, leaving us spellbound.
NEXT SHOWS / 2022
26/1/2022 – Théâtre L’Onde – Velizy – France –
27/1/2022 – Théâtre L’Onde – Velizy – 2 séances – France
5/2/2022 – Arpajon – Espace Concorde – France
23/6/2022 – Festival Nuits de Nacre – Tulle – France
5/14/2019 – TNP Villeurbane – Festival Les Langagières
11/29/2019 – La Ferme du buisson – Noisiel – France
1/21/2020 – Café de la danse – Paris – France
2/2/2020 – Longjumeau – France
2/7/2020 – Puteaux – France
6/21/2021 – Savigny-sur-Orge – France
6/29/2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris -France
6/30/2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris -France
7/13/2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris -France
7/14/2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris -France
7/20/2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris -France
7/21/2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris -France
7/27/2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris -France
7/28/2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris -France
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
Luis Rigou, Artistic direction, voice & flutes
Céline Bishop, Musical direction, arrangements & piano
Los Guardiola, Giorgia Marchiori & Marcelo Guardiola: Choreography & pantomime
Simone Tolomeo, Bandoneon
Mauricio Angarita, Double bass
Stage direction: Coraly Zahonero & Vicente Pradal
Light creation: Vicente Pradal
Light production: Gabriele Smiriglia
Production manager: Helene Arntzen
A co-production by
TAC | Territoire Art et Création / Le Chant des hommes / La flûte enchantée
Luis Rigou / Céline Bishop / Christophe Fourel
Created in october and november 2019 @ Conservatoire J-B. Lully – Puteaux
With the patronage of the DRAC, the J.-B. Lully Conservatory of Puteaux,
the SPEDIDAM, the FCM, the SPPF and Paris Banlieues Tango FESTIVAL.
Among the most contemporary of Tango artists, Marcelo Guardiola and Giorgia Marchiori, artistically known as Los Guardiola, are one of the most beloved and admired couples, as reviewed in the Buenos Aires Press. Their shows have run in theatres and festivals all over the world.
Marcelo Guardiola is an actor, dancer, musician and stage director. Born in Buenos Aires, in 1999 he created a form of theatrical research called TangoTeatro, which proposed a new style of entertainment which stages poetry through mime and dance.
Giorgia Marchiori, born in Rome, is a dancer, an actress, choreographer and Doctor of Philosophy. In 2003 she began her artistic collaboration with Marcelo Guardiola establishing the duo, Los Guardiola whose originality consists of telling stories through the marriage of mime and dance.
In 2004, for their work as Tango dancers par excellence, they received the Diploma of Honour New Generation (Nueva Generación) through a declaration of Cultural Interest by the Secretary of Culture of the Argentine Presidency (Secretaría de la Cultura, Presidencia de la Nación).
In 2011, for the original and distinctive use of Tango in theatre, they were part of the VIII Holstebro Festuge, Denmark, organized by the Odin Teatret, directed by Eugenio Barba. In 2016 the Argentine National Academy of Tango (Academia Nacional del Tango de la República Argentina) awarded them institutional auspices as “Artist of Tango who advance Tango-culture.” Authors and performers of all their shows, in 2016 they premiered «Los Guardiola Tango Show» in the celebrated theatre Teatro Maipo in Buenos Aires. They have carried their wordless art to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.
In the musical show Tango Secret, their grace and expertise bring a poetic and dramatic touch which is momentous.
TANGO SECRET: The Musical Show
Former flutist of Cuarteto Cedrón, Luis Rigou is also a singer with a moving voice, who found in Céline Bishop the suitable pianist to accompany his tangos and tender Argentine milongas. On stage, their album Tango Secret takes the form of a mini-opera, with bandoneon, double bass, a few tales and the pantomine dances of Los Guardiola.
Anne Berthod, Télérama Sortir
As a miniature opera, Tango is a musical genre which passes through all times. With an incredible modernity, Tango passes through centuries, while keeping a step in advance. That is why it is eternally in demand.
With a duration of less than three minutes, we discover a hyper-realistic scene and atmosphere in which characters, whose carriage is tense, are on the verge of passion, tragedy, and self-lamentation. Quite intuitive, Tango music is linked to its own history, as common as it is universal.
To have a better understanding, we need to turn back to the dramatic origins of old tangos, those unique documents of raw poetry, and to the scenes that saw its birth.
Everything began close to the edges of the big port cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Real crossroads of merchandise, several million heads of cattle were driven every day, by lonely Gauchos, after weeks of riding their horses. These big slaughterhouses, called Mataderos, illustrate the shock and the confrontation of an infant modernity, specific to Buenos Aires against the rest of the country. Real cities into cities, these Mataderos outgrew the wild rurality of the Pampa. Drowned under enormous quantities of meat, mud and blood, the only law which prevailed was the one of the Facón, this ostentatious knife that the gauchos would wear.
Decorated with gold and silver, this knife acted as an unassailable safety device and as a judge of peace between these rough men. Within a single movement, they knew how to wrap their poncho in their left arm to make a shield out of it and display with the right arm the long Facón, ready to kill or to die.
By the evening, Milongas, Cielos, Escondidos, Huellas, Zambas and other dances broke the silence of the Gauchos.
Still in the Mataderos, these men would tell their thoughts, their love and loyalty by singing. They also challenged using the Payada, a kind of counterpoint sparring between two Gauchos with guitar. This dangerous musical game made of questions-answers in Decima reflected the favorite meter of popular poetry.
Accepting only a single winner, the loser could admit his defeat in a very last verse and tidy up his guitar. Otherwise, the jury would declare a winner.
But it’s the Milonga, taking little by little a Habanera swing, which gave the final touch to Tango, which endures.
The first Tangos were born at the end of the 19th century, not in the mataderos, but a bit further in the outskirts. In those rural and rough districts, the brothels of the Rio de la Plata flourished, and lonely men dreamed of making their fortunes – their “American Dream” – come true. As most of them were immigrants, they learned Porteño Spanish and their respective slang became mixed up. It’s in fine all this mix which gave birth to the tango language: the Lunfardo, which has a strong South Italian connotation.
Authentic polylingual lounges, these salons became the shelter where men waited endlessly for the illusion of a girlfriend. Never has the expression “waiting room” been more accurate.
To counter this loneliness, the landladies of these places offered music to their customers, played all night by little orchestras. And to encourage them to dance together, the focus was on milongas and fast rhythms. This was the first form of Tango, called La Guardia vieja, which was mainly instrumental. Around 1890, the original setting was composed of flute, guitar and double bass. The attendance increased, the profit increased, and salons became real shops. After that, the orchestras became bigger, as well as the sound needed.
At that time the violin came to enrich this Tango primeur. Around 1925, the Violin corneta (a violin of a metallic box with a trumpet shape pavilion) appeared in the hands of the unforgettable Julio de Caro. He immortalized the instrument through his recordings of Mala Junta, El Monito, Boedo, Berretin, masterpieces of the new Tango. He played and recorded with great musicians such as Pedro Maffia, Armando Blasco, Pedro Laurenz, Manlio Francia and even with his brother Francisco for the piece La Rayuela. In those times started the Guardia Nueva.
At the same time, Argentina discovered the bandoneon, which was imported from Germany. Called after its inventor Heinrich Band, the famous instrument became the trademark of modern Tango, and made it’s entry on stage next to the piano. Since then, from the two sides of the Rio de la Plata, the big orchestras and Tango big-bands combined into what was called orquestas tipicas.
The Tipica Sondor of Donato Raciatti, Francisco Canaro, Juan D´Arienzo, Alfredo de Ángelis, and Alfredo Gobbi resonated all over the country, as did the very renowned Osmar Maderna, Osvaldo Pugliese, Carlos Di Sarli, Héctor Stamponi, Aníbal Troilo. Next to them, we find also Mariano Mores and Horacio Salgán, great interpreters of piano tango.
At that time, Tango developed widely, and singers became more and more famous, with texts whose authors are now part of the Tango Pantheon. Some examples are El Negro Casimiro, Rosendo Mendizábal, Enrique Saborido, Juan Maglio, Ángel Villoldo, Evaristo Carriego, Roberto Firpo, and Agustín Bardi.
But the couple who made Tango shine on the international scene was the one of Toulouse singer Charles Romuald Gardés, known as Carlos Gardel, and Alfredo Le Pera. Son of a French mother and an unknown father, probably an Argentinian sailor, Charles Romuald Gardés arrived in Montevideo during his childhood. He then moved to Buenos Aires where he changed name, passport and citizenship, to become Carlos Gardel, The King of Tango.
All that said, the link between France and Argentina isn’t new. The first Tango recording, directed by Eduardo Arolas in 1905, was made in Paris by the Garde Républicaine. Little by little Paris will add to Tango its fame and renown, and will become the 2nd Capital of Tango.
1. «Le chemin de Buenos Aires», a documentary of Albert LONDRES, re-edited by «Le serpent à plumes». Written in 1927, this text deals with White Exploitation by the French chain between France and the Rio de la Plata.
2. «The Slaughterhouse » (El matadero), this short masterpiece that Esteban Echeverría wrote at the end of the 1830’s emphasized the birth of Argentinian fiction and the introduction of romanticism in the Río de la Plata. The events mentioned in this foundational text are entrenched in the context of its writing: a country split between city and countryside, torn by the endless conflict between Unitarians and Federals, holders of two opposed projects of State organization. To stigmatize the violent and despotic regime of Juan Manuel de Rosas, governor of the Province of Buenos Aires invested of dictatorial power, Echeverría makes slaughterhouses the symbol of the Argentinian politic polarization and the miniature replica of the Rosist Federation. Theater of the tragic confrontations between civilization and barbary, this neighboring space fell within an apocalyptical Buenos Aires, paralyzed by two weeks of pouring rain, which in the eyes of the people, had been caused by those “miscreant Unitarians”.
3. «Quien fué Gabino Ezeiza, el payador» magazine El Federal 2012.
While studying at Codarts, the prestigious conservatory of Rotterdam, Céline Bishop discovered, randomly, the voice of Luis Rigou, and was astonished by its unique texture. After moving to Paris, she asked him to become her tango voice. Luis Rigou, whose only experience with tango was as the flute soloist of the Cuarteto Cedron, was at first skeptical, but after a few tryouts agreed to accept the challenge.
After having recorded their first album (released in November 2019), the duo appears in concert with a variety of musical combinations.
As a duo, Céline Bishop at the piano and Luis Rigou, singing. For the “historical” tangos, Luis also plays flutes, mainly transverse, but also a historical “Buffet Crampon” from 1862, with ebony rings, representative of the flute played in tangos from the “Guardia Vieja”.
Tango Secret can also be played in a quartet setting for concerts, with a bandoneon and a double bass, or even as a quintet with the addition of a saxophone.
In their new musical show, they are accompanied by musicians and by Los Guardiola, an extraordinary duo of mime and dance, with the stage direction of Coralie Zahonero from the Comédie-Française and Vicente Pradal.
Céline Bishop, who began playing the piano at the age of six and devoted herself to classical music for many years, discovered the world of Argentine Tango in 2009. It’s at «Tango de Soie» (Lyon) that she took her first steps as a dancer and played her first Tango concerts.
In 2012 Céline set out to study for a Bachelor’s degree in Argentine Tango at Codarts Conservatory, in cosmopolitan and exotic Rotterdam, tutored by Gustavo Beytelmann and Wim Warman, performing all over the country with the well-known Gran Orchestra Típica OTRA.
In 2016 Céline settled in Paris and returned to teaching at the Conservatory of music in Puteaux, while continuing her own studies at Gennevilliers with Juan José and Juanjo Mosalini. Driven by the multitude of Parisian musical encounters, she plays in several ensembles such as La Grossa, Orchestra tipica, Calambre (Tango quartet), and Barco Negro (Fado Trio).
Luis Rigou, while studying music at the National Conservatory of Buenos Aires, played with Jaime Torres and also with Anibal Sampayo. Later, he created the ensemble Maiz, with whom he was awarded the Revelation prize at the Cosquin Festival in 1987. He performed throughout all of South America, as well as in 13 European countries, where he settled in 1989. Invited to France to be part of the Cuarteto Cedron as a flute player, he collaborated with many other artists: Luis Naón, Ricardo Moyano, Minino Garay, Gustavo Beytelmann, Antonio Agri, Nilda Fernández, Sergio Ortega, and the Idan Raichel Project.
However, it was under the name of Diego Modena and his album Ocarina, recorded in 1992, that Luis became world famous. Ocarina was No. 1 in the Hit Parade in 14 countries, including France, and in the Top 10 of 44 countries. He was awarded 57 golden, platinum and diamond discs.
He subsequently recorded 18 other albums, taking on the artistic direction of Luis Llach and in 1995, recorded the famous Complainte de Pablo Neruda with French singer Jean Ferrat. In 1996 he began his long collaboration with Vicente Pradal for Cantique Spirituel, Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, Peleas y Melisanda, Vendrá de noche and currently Medianoche.
Additionally, he composes and performs film music (institutional, short and long movies) including: Karim et Sala, by I. Ouedraogo, Special Prize at the Cannes Festival 91, Voleur d’enfants of C. de Chalonge with Marcello Mastroiani, and with E. Makaroff and H. Arntzen, he won the Fondation de France prize at the Biarritz Festival for the film music Médecins du Monde in 1997. In 2004, he composed and recorded Cayetano et la Baleine, a CD-book for Gallimard Jeunesse, which was highly successful.
Currently he performs throughout Europe as a soloist with the ensemble La Chimera in Misa de Indios, Misa Criolla, with the Coro Polifónico de Pamplona and Gracias a La Vida.
26-27 janvier – Théâtre L’Onde – Vélizy (78) – réservations : 01 78 74 38 60
5 février – Espace Concorde – Arpajon (91) > réservations : 01 64 90 44 46
23 juin – Tulle (19) Festival Nuits de Nacre
28 juin – Paris (75) Théâtre de l’Atelier
29 juin – Paris (75) Théâtre de l’Atelier
30 juin – Paris (75) Théâtre de l’Atelier
1er juillet – Paris (75) Théâtre de l’Atelier
27-28 juillet 2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris
20-21 juillet 2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris
13-14 juillet 2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris
29-30 juin 2021 – Théâtre de l’Atelier – Paris
21 juin 2021 – Savigny-sur-Orge (91)
7 février 2020 – Conservatoire J-B. Lully – Puteaux – Salle Gramont (92)
21 janvier 2020 – Café de la Danse – Paris
29 novembre 2019 – La Ferme du Buisson / Scène Nationale – Noisiel
14 mai 2019 – Festival Les Langagières – TNP-Villeurbanne