Dancing to the music of time

But among so many lessons, with so many teachers, I find contradictions and clichés. My feet are shovels; my feet are paintbrushes. My feet must caress the floor, intensely; my feet are too firm against the floorboards. My embrace must be close, like the embrace of a lover; my embrace must leave space for the tension between us. I am a cat, I am a lion, I am a horse-rider. Carina tells me I need to work on my ochos. [Read More]

Learning From Early Music

by madabandon In a sense, dancing Argentine Tango in 2011 in a country far away from Argentina is an inescapable anachronism. How could it ever be authentic? Should it be? Shouldn’t any art form evolve and develop in a quest for ever improvement? In the (un)concious choice between opposing traditions, which would be the right to follow? Now, these questions are not unique for tango of course: The idea of revival has become a touchstone for the Early Music Movement, and consequently the fact that some styles of performance have been going on long enough to develop and build their own continuity presents some philosophical complications. [Read More]

Contributing to the Digital Tango Archive

by erielookingproductions I have written about the effort of Tango Via to digitally archive the entire tango catalogue, and how I was impressed with their ambitions, the work so far and the significance of preserving the tango culture for the future. This is an update to point your attention to their donation page, you can donate via Help Argentina if you are outside Argentina. If in Argentina, they suggest you get in touch with them to get instructions for donations. [Read More]

The Art of the Cabeceo Part I: Are You Flirting With Me?

by pedrosimoes7 –Nobody asks me to dance, complained our Canadian classmate. We were sitting at our table in the Buenos Aires Golf Club, overlooking the dark course and the city skyline. We started chatting about the cabeceo, surely she knew the habit of the Porteño dancer to ask by catching a potential partner’s eye and confirming with a slight nod towards the pista? Of course she didn’t. On the contrary, she brought her habit of avoiding to meet the eye of men she did not know, avoiding unwanted attention and flirts from strangers, as she did back home. [Read More]

Extraordinary dancing, thoughts about tango

This extraordinary video gave me some food for thought and made me finish a line of reasoning that started after noticing a youtube comment. Complaining that the dancing was all acrobatics, but had no feeling for the music. Sounded very familiar, only this time it was not tango dancers, but b-boys they were complaining about. Hip hop and tango have quite some things in common (and obvious differences, of course). [Read More]

Learning the Language of Tango

by Simba tango If you don’t know the language of tango, you’ll miss out on a lot, and for once, I don’t mean in a metaphorical sense. One anecdote I remember from my early days of tango was being told of a workshop that started with the following announcement: ”This is an advanced class, hence it will be taught in Spanish…” I’m not sure who it supposedly was that said it, but I have a similar experience with Gustavo Naveira teaching in Buenos Aires with lots of foreigners present: –Is there anyone here that speaks absolutely no Spanish? [Read More]

Why is it not in the public domain?

by Ioan Sameli Entering a new year, it can be wise to give thought to how things could have been. Most of the world follows the USA when it comes to copyright laws, and they keep extending the copyright terms again and again. Which makes very little sense from a society stand point. Extending the copyright on the 1930s recordings of Juan D’Arienzo isn’t exactly making him pour out new hit records every month… [Read More]

Inside the digital archive

by Erica_Marshall After Ignacio Varchausky gave his musicality seminar at theCasa de tango here in Buenos Aires, where the TangoVía project resides, he was kind to show us around the premises and demonstrate the current state of the digital archive. They have a very nice set of equipment, he showed us the machine they use to clean the discs properly before doing the transfers, the different turntables for different kinds of discs, amplifiers and ADC as well as tape equipment. [Read More]

Tailored for Tango

by wmacphail –Come back here! You are not entering the floor without buttoning your jacket! Her voice left no doubt, and the young aspiring dancer stepped back, buttoned his jacket and went back on the dance floor. He was smiling, but he would not commit the same error again. In one of my very first tango lessons, I was told that the Argentine dancers would never take off their jacket for dancing. [Read More]