Sensuous, sultry and sexy dancing

THERE'S a glow from Monica and Omar Ocampo that can not be attributed to the layers of Argentinian Brylcreem alone

THERE'S a glow from Monica and Omar Ocampo that can not be attributed to the layers of Argentinian Brylcreem alone. The tango dancers from Buenos Aires radiate happiness and passion.

The husband and wife team who star in the much acclaimed musical Tango Pasion, which opens in Dublin next week were brought together through dance. But after 12 years of marriage they, are still learning to move as one Dressed in a black velvet number, net stockings and high heels, Monica (39) plays what she describes as a typical Argentinian lady in the bordellos of Buenos Aires. Omar, dark skinned with slicked black hair and moustache, plays a "Don Juan" character. On stage as well as in real life the couple are "romantic and strong," according to Monica.

"The tango brought us together, we are in love with its magic and sweet melody. There are few words to describe it, you have to understand, it is a feeling."

Tango Pasion, the musical aims to convey that feeling. There is no dialogue, there is no story. Set in a dance club in Buenos Aires in the late 1940s, where the men wear Cuban heels and fedoras low over their brows, and the women wear slinky, low cut evening dresses, "everything in life" is expressed through "sensuous, sultry and sexy" dance.


The tango was born in the brothels of Argentina. Until the 1940s it was banned from dance halls there because it was deemed too erotic. Men practised the dance with other men on the streets before going to the bordellos to show off their skills.

"It is like that film with Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman. She is like a flower, a gift. He is macho, dominating," Omar (39) explains. "There is no other dance where a man and a woman are so close, so sensual, so erotic.

"Your legs and your body speak your feelings, your sadness or your jealousies.

"I play a gigolo, all the time looking at other girls, a typical Argentinian. I joke and charm my way through life," he says.

Monica and Omar have been professional dancers since their teens. Omar, the son of a banker, teaches tango and folklore in the Argentinian capital. The daughter of an artist and a singer, Monica had always hoped that dance would bring her around the world as an ambassador for her country's culture.

Since the show opened two years ago the couple have toured Russia, America, and the Far East as well as Europe.

"It is great to open a show in a new country, to win new friends there," Monica explains. It is the first time that the couple have been in Ireland.

"The dance, the lights, the sounds and the dress, have been appreciated by the public. But the secret of the show is that each of the six couples dance so differently," she says.

Tango Pasion has been described as "the most spectacle dance en" by the New York Tim. It aims to be the choreographic response to the serenely laden, all singing musicals of the 1980s, many of which its producer Mel Howard has worked on in the past.

The choreographer is Argentinian born Hector Zaraspe who has worked on major productions of La Traviata, One Hundred Nights and Carmen.

The musical's sets are based on the paintings of Ricardo Carpani and capture the abandon of the characters.