Technological advances in tango

2009 July 9
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I have to say I feel a bit like an oldie, writing this, but I am kind of old-school when it comes to tango, so I guess that’s ok..

I can’t help but notice how many things have changed since I first started with tango. Not the dance itself, but things around it. Technological changes that the newcomers in tango seem to take for granted, were simply not available only a few years back.

Comme il faut

The sexy and life threatening stilettos of comme il faut did not exist when my tango career started. I think they started around 2003, at least that’s when I first heard about them. Definitely not by 2001. And surprisingly, noone has been able to copy their formula just yet.

One (post Comme il faut) tango friend commented on La Princesa’s (pre Comme il faut) shoes and thought it ‘impossible’ to dance with such clunky, heavy shoes.

Before they were comme il faut. Now there is Comme il faut.

Online music

Well, it is not quite there, both Rhapsody and Napster (the legal one) have very limited tango catalogues, and I believe the same to be the case with Spotify. I have a large collection already, but for beginners, I presume it can be very useful. It took time and effort and money to get something remiscent of a tango collection, the first step is now much easier, and lots of music is available at and as well.

Before they would give you Piazzolla. Now you can get Racciatti.


An old VHS that some friends had copied from another friend, taped from Solo tango was all we had. Watching old shows at their place. Then we ordered vastly overpriced dvds from CITA once a year for some years. The last time I ordered the dvd, I was talking with the friends with the VHS about how I wasn’t really thrilled by the latest CITA dvd. I realized it was because I preferred watching my favorite dancers (not on CITA) at youtube. For free.

Before you had to ask: how is their dancing? Now you can check it out yourself.

Social networking

So many of my tango friends and aquaintances are now on facebook, I think it will be much easier to get into the flow the next time in Buenos Aires. Before, one would have to track down the latest Tangauta to know what was going on. Today it is all online, available even before you leave home. It will be interesting to see if twitter will have any use in tango, I can see it as a means of coordination, but facebook seems like a stronger contestant at the moment.

Before you would hope some friends showed up. Now you can follow them on your favorite social networking site. Who are you on twitter?

4 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 July 9

    Ah, yes, I remember the good ole days when there was one tango shoe store in BsAs, and you had to go there personally to buy. Now they and many others fill orders online and ship Federal Express from Argentina. I remember when you had to be at the milonga the day Tito Palumbo delivered an allotment of B.A. Tango magazine to each milonga. If you didn’t get a copy, you didn’t know what new milongas were opening. Today you can find listings on the internet at several magazine sites.

    In 1991 when I wanted to find tango CDs in Chicago, the only one available was the sound track from Tango Argentino; I still have it. Today you can download tracks from the internet.

    There was a time when cellphones were never seen in a milonga. It’s not uncommon to see them in use. I’ve heard that women call a certain guy across the room when they want to dance with him. What would we do without technological advances?

  2. 2009 July 10

    @janis – isn’t that a complete contradiction of the rules of cabeceo? A glance can be ignored, not responding to a text message is as rejected as being turned down at the table, no?

    @simba – as long as the heart of tango remains the same, I think any technological advances that help us find it are welcome 🙂

  3. 2009 July 10

    @janis LOL — there was a cartoon about that in a recent B.A. Tango, I think. I got it by email…

    @johanna Absolutely. Concerning the text message, couldn’t one just pretend to not seeing it (until later, too late), just like with the cabeceo 😉

  4. 2009 July 10

    I’ve been told that a foreign male living in BsAs gives out his cell number to women who in turn text message him when they want a tanda. Sounds like desperation on both sides to me. There are those who will avoid the eye contact and a nod at all costs.

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