Letras de tango

We all know that tango is about lost love, broken hearts, right? Well – now we can check it out. Hans at Amsterdam tango club put all the 13,000 lyrics they got in their online database in a single html file, which made it rather easy to do some statistics. I wrote a small script, counting the occurrences of each word, and the figure above is a representation of the results, but leaving the very shortest words like y, o, el, lo etc out. [Read More]

Experience the breadth of tango in Buenos Aires

by Simba tango A friend is going to Buenos Aires for the first time this week, and I sent her some information about where to go, encouraging her to experience the breadth of tango in Buenos Aires. So many people get stuck in one small part of the tango world and never experience anything else. When they come back, they believe they know how the tango in Buenos Aires is… [Read More]

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

by hdeb89 I was dancing a nice tanda with a friend of a friend, and while it was not exactly my favorite music, we were doing fine. We were having a good time. There were lots of people dancing, nobody got hurt, and we were dancing peacefully among the other couples. So far so good… I appreciated the festival organizers’ effort to give some extra credit to the djs. [Read More]

"El Turco" José Brahemcha -- a short biography

El "Turco" José -- as he is commonly known -- was born in Buenos Aires, in the neighborhood of Saavedra, July 17 1931. He was a dedicated bicycle rider when he was a kid, until his mother (who was a tango singer) suggested that he learn to dance "to get to know some girls". At the age of 16, he started to practice with his friends from his neighborhood in the house of one of them, where they had a gramophone player. [Read More]

DJing again

by The unnamed After a break of almost two years, I’m djing again this Weekend. I must say I look forward to it, knowing I will like the music at the milonga is always nice ;-) I got so much new music that I’m eager to use. While setting up my computer again (which was reinstalled after a breakdown a year ago) and doing some preparations, I listened to some of my favorite music, which was really nice, too. [Read More]

Tango Audio Restoration

Tango music was recorded with equipment much inferior to what is available today. Adding to that, the record companies threw away the master’s leaving us with reproductions based on the shellac records that further deteriate the sound. For many of the commercial releases of tango music, the Reliquias series, the 78RPM series etc, the transfers have been cleaned and the noises removed for the music to become more clear and easy to listen to. [Read More]

Do the Argentines have it in their blood?

by themanwithsalthair –You have to realize, Simba, that there are great non-Argentine teachers, too! This argument came up in a heated debate, and while I agree in principle, the teachers she had in mind were mediocre at best, so it didn’t really change my opinion much. In an online debate along similar lines, I once noticed an attempt to ridicule the ones pointing out the Argentines’ comparative advantage in tango by comparing them to people holding the view that the ‘negroes had it in their blood’ (when talking about rhythm, obviously). [Read More]

Look! No hands!

by mag3737 There seems to be a common misunderstanding that you are not supposed to use your arms when dancing tango. That is wrong on so many levels. I can see where it comes from, as it is a common mistake among beginners to do try leading with their hands, and not using the rest of their bodies. But one thing is to make point to beginners and quite another to elevate it to a universal truth. [Read More]

The Essence of Tango

When we watched the milongueros dancing years ago, we could perceive the mystery behind what they did, no matter if it was easy or difficult. Therefore, technique has to be understood first, then it can be copied, but the goal is to get to its essence. If you use the word "technique" less in class, and instead use words like "essence" and "sensation", students can perform the movement with a more natural attitude and will learn faster than if you speak about numbers, diagonals or muscles. [Read More]

Experiment shows: walking heel first more efficient

This will not, of course, settle the agelong debate of whether to walk toe first or heel first in tango. Still, I found it interesting that there has recently been published research on the efficiency of the human walk, specifically investigating walking heel first versus walking toe first. If you are striving for the most efficient walk, their conclusion might be worth noting: When human subjects walked with their heels slightly elevated in a ‘low-digitigrade’[toe first] posture, COT [cost of transport] increased by 53% above that of normal plantigrade [heel first] walking. [Read More]