Tango with a Brazilian twist

As Tanguera takes over Sadler’s Wells this August, Jungle catches up with Brazilian member of the troop, Junior Cervila

A Brazilian-Argentinean, or an Argentinian from Brazil, tango dancer Junior Cervila was born in São Paulo but chose Buenos Aires as his home. Due to the famous (but well-humoured) rivalry between the two countries, says he doesn’t have a favourite: “I love both cultures. I have a lot of problems so I prefer not to talk about soccer … hahaha”, he jokes. Out of South America for the moment being, he dancer is in London touring the show Tanguera, that can be seen at Sadler’s Wells. Jungle spoke to Junior about how a Brazilian dancer managed to escape classic ballet and samba to become a tango dancer.

JD: From what I read, your first inspiration in dance was John Travolta. How did you go from Saturday Night Fever to tango?
JC: Haha… Yes, it’s true. I was a teenager in Brazil and saw actually “Staying Alive” (the second part of Saturday night fever). And my impossible dream was to be in a Broadway musical. I started learning jazz dance. But the “lambada fever” made me start with partnering dance. From lambada to samba, from samba to salsa and mambo (Dirty Dancing), so I went to see a Tango show in Brazil and I loved it. I went to Buenos Aires in 92 for 3 months to learn the tango. But I fell in love with the city and the dance, so I am still there. But I made my dream come true. I was in Broadway with “Tango Argentino” in 99/2000. And now as a principal dancer in “Tanguera”.

Were you ever intrigued by or interested in the more classical styles of dance such as ballet or jazz, or even Brazilian forms of dance such as samba?
Well, I like many styles of dancing and I make a lot of fusion in my dance. I believe that dancing is movement. I don’t care if it is a tango, a samba or a jazz movement. If it fits with the music and express a emotion, it’s allowed. So, my background has other dances but first I had to learn strictly traditional tango, then later, make fusions. I dance socially the traditional “milonguero style”.

What can the audience expect from Tanguera? And how do you feel the London crowd will receive the show?
Tanguera is a unique show that tells a story through tango. We are not dancers, we are actors that dance. We have characters. I love it. My last visit to London was in 2000 and I miss your city. London has a great tango community and know very well about musical theatre, so London will love “Tanguera”.

How did you get involved with the project?
I was called in 2001 when they were creating Tanguera. That’s why I have a special feeling with the show and my character (the villain). Somehow, I was involved with the creation of the project. I did the show from 2002 to 2004. And now I am coming back. I missed a lot being on stage with Tanguera, and I am very happy doing it again.

A tanguera means someone who’s deeply passionate about tango, right? But what is tango to you?
That’s a very difficult question… Difficult to tell in words. It’s a feeling… You feel it or not. Can we describe in words what love is??

By Ana Brasil

3-22 August 2010
Sadler’s Wells Theatre
Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Performance times
Tue – Sun at 7.30pm
Sat & Sun Mats at 2.30pm

£10 – £48
0844 412 4300 or book here

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