Despite a blustery winter storm, more than 700 people turned out at the Wisconsin Union Theater Tuesday night to see Tango Fire, a Buenos Aires dance troupe.

The show opened with a scene imitating a milonga ? an Argentine tango party in a nightclub. A number of men and women danced, socialized and flirted with one another, while couples tangoed their way across the stage. At one point, a comically choreographed fight even broke out, but clearer heads prevailed, and the dancing soon resumed.

University of Wisconsin senior and former Argentina-dweller Kate Finley thought the drama of the cafe lent an air of authenticity to the show. According to Finley, ?The tango is a competition to see who can express their feelings best through dance, and I think they did a good job of conveying that.?

In addition to the chaotic action, the set design also made the cafe feel very authentic: chairs and tables littered the sides of the stage, a fog machine created a dingy, late-night atmosphere and a sign reading ?Cafe del Tango? hung at the back of the stage. The lighting added to its realism, with mottled beams of white light highlighting the smoke.

Also adding to the ambience was Quatrotango, a four-piece ensemble consisting of an accordion-like instrument called a bandone?n, a stand-up bass, a violin and a piano. Throughout the night, the quartet?s music reflected the tone of the dancing, from hot and heavy to slow and seductive.

The dulcet tones of Javier Di Ciriaco provided another musical highlight. Although many in the audience did not understand his Spanish lyrics, the tall tenor charmed the crowd with his booming voice and impeccable teeth. From his very first song, ?Mi Buenos Aires Querido,? a love song dedicated to the birthplace of the tango, he had the affection or, depending on gender and sexual orientation, envy of the crowd.

One of the dance highlights of the first half was a number called ?Boedo,? performed by Cristian Gallardo and Betiana Botana. Where many of the other tangos conveyed a fiery, youthful passion, Gallardo and Botana had a more mature dynamic. They showed astounding control of their bodies and moved in sync with one another perfectly. There was a true sense of intimacy as the two glided across the stage and one another. While many of the other pairs burned with an intemperate lust, Gallardo and Botana smoldered.

The second half was a showcase of performances, featuring both stand-alone numbers from Quatrotango and dances from each one of the five pairs.

?After having taken ballroom dance, I am really impressed by anyone with that much control over their body on the dance floor,? UW senior Tony Wang said.

The show ended with a lively group dance entitled ?Verano Porte?o,? which echoed the cafe atmosphere of the first half.

After a standing ovation, the group came back out for an encore featuring a comical tango between violinist Marcelo Rebuffi and one of the dancers.

Overall, Tango Fire?s performance was a joy to watch on two levels: For one, it was very aesthetically pleasing. Both the wardrobes and the physical abilities of all the performers dazzled the crowd. What made the show most enjoyable, however, was its transformative nature. For two hours, the blizzard-weary crowd got the chance to flee their chilly suffering and bask in the warmth of one of Buenos Aires? most esteemed traditions.