Gisela Galleassi and her dance partner Germán Cornejo are widely recognised as two of the greatest tango dancers in the modern dance world, known for their performances with the likes of Jennifer Lopez. This month they premiere a new show Immortal Tango at The Peacock Theatre, with their company of tango superstars.
Hi Gisela, thanks for talking to us and bringing your show to London. So why is the Tango relevant in London today?
I think tango is relevant in every city that has had the chance to get to know it and to enjoy good tango shows. It is fully of sensuality, mystery, nostalgia and passion, which draws the audience in and leaves them wanting more and more.
Why do you love London?
Because I feel incredibly comfortable with the people, places and food here. London is a beautiful city and perfect for longer stays. I feel at home here and always enjoy my stays.
Where did you grow up and how did it shape your subsequent career?
I grew up in a small town called Icho Cruz in the mountains of Cordoba, Argentina. This meant that my career development was more of a struggle but it has also made me live life in the moment, and take each achievement with passion and happiness. Growing up where I did has made me the person I am today.
Can you explain to us the magic of dance?
Dance is the universal language of the body. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from, or what language you speak. Dance is the ability to express feelings through movement, not words, and that’s what makes it so special.
Who is the most interesting person you have met, performing or otherwise?
A great Argentine artist who took theatre to the poorest towns of Buenos Aires. He was so true to his convictions that he was exiled from Argentina during the military government that got rid of 300,000 Argentinians who didn’t share its political ideas. He was exiled for 10 years and when democracy was restored he came back to continue his acting career. His name is Norman Briski and I admire him enormously.
Who are your female role models?
All women who are independent and passionate are an inspiration to me. One particular example for me is the dancer Maria Nieves. She dedicated her whole life to dance and was one of the first to take tango onto the stage. So I really think all female tango dancers have a bit of Maria Nieves in us.
What would be your advice for a woman wanting to emanate your career?
To love what you do but also to love yourself. Work hard and don’t forget to enjoy yourself in the process.
And what has been your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is being able to live off what I truly love doing. That really makes me a happy person.
What will you miss when you leave London? And what do you miss about home?
I miss everything about this city when I’m not here – I love London! And when I’m here I miss my cats. Luckily I have my boyfriend here with me!
- Immortal Tango runs at Sadler’s Wells’ The Peacock from Tuesday 1st – Saturday 19th March.