Alvarado puts his words to the tango

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TANGO, the dance that originated in the bordellos of Buenos Aires more than 100 years ago, is now fantastically popular here, thanks to the appeal of Strictly Come Dancing.

The sexy antics of Flavia and Vincente beneath the glitterball have done wonders for the dance – even if theirs is a rather melodramatic take on the real thing.

What you don’t learn from Strictly is that tango also embraces a style of singing and singers who are artists in their own right – not just crooners who accompany the passionate twists and turns on the floor.

Martin Alvarado is a renowned tango singer from Buenos Aires for whom international acclaim blossomed when two Finnish women heard him busking in the centre of Barcelona and later invited him to perform in their homeland, where there is a huge tango scene.

Soon he was performing across the world. He has released two well-received albums and toured this year with the show Midnight Tango.

Those who hear Alvarado’s show in Leeds will find a 21st century version of tango. The anguished songs of love are there, but he favours a pared-back, less embellished style of performance than many of the old school.

He says: “My performance is about honesty, and I tend to avoid the ‘top 50’ songs. I try to sing in a heartfelt but modern way.”

Martin Alvarado is at Seven Artspace, 31a Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 3PD at 7.30pm on Wednesday, November 16. www.sevenleeds.co.uk

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