In their heyday, Buenos Aires octogenarians María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes were the Ginger and Fred of tango. In this dance-filled doco they recall their 50-year career and their often stormy personal life.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
Our Last Tango documents a love story involving perhaps the most famous couple in tango history and their shared passion for the partnered dance. Now in their 80s, María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes met when they were 14 and 17, respectively. Off the dance floor, they loved and hated each other in equal measure, broke up and reunited, but always generated sparks as performing partners.
“German Kral’s documentary Our Last Tango is a combination of things, all fascinating: a portrait of María Nieves and Juan Carlos Copes, a world-renowned pair of tango dancers, and their professional partnership of almost 50 years; a stylized staging of their romantic and artistic history, performed by young dancers; and a celebration of the tango itself, which continues to bewitch with its writhing, gently jagged grace and torrid suggestiveness.
Ms Nieves and Mr Copes offer sometimes divergent accounts of their collaboration… Mr Copes is understated, masculine and faintly defensive… Ms Nieves is candid, expressive, life-loving even when acknowledging pain – the two had many breakups and reconciliations before divorcing – and resignation. Cigarette holder in hand, she is the picture’s principal power source, its brightest light.
Both acknowledge their singular stage charisma and dexterity, immortalized in the Broadway hit Tango Argentino… But that does not diminish the contributions of the young performers here, who listen rapturously to Ms Nieves’s descriptions of a vanished Buenos Aires and her embrace of an artistic calling.” — Andy Webster, NY Times