Authenticity The Tradition Tension 5 March 2018 "The minute you call something a Tradition, you're declaring it dead. Because you're saying that it's a static thing, that there is only one definition..." Chef Ed Lee goes on to explain what many Chefs have had to learn about their French training, "Tradition is technique." To become great chefs, they had to use that technique to express something personal. Berlin’s Authenticity, article for Modern Tango World Berlin edition 25 October 2015 I made a series of interviews on behalf of the Berlin edition of Modern Tango World 2015. This is an overview, emphasizing the most interesting things I learned, with links to the original interviews. “Erfahrungen machen” is a common German phrase, which translates as “making experiences”. The long history of tango here in Berlin has [...more] Tango and Carbonara (or the Should and the Could) 10 November 2013 In my view, authentic tango is one in which we find tango's soul through our own experience, and trust that we have something poignant to develop with our partners from our own context, rather than forsaking ourselves in imitation. Right, wrong, and handsome 2 September 2013 “It’s an interesting phrase…” my student said. “–The one the Argentine teachers use: ‘It’s not wrong, but…’ Why do they say that?” There are obvious answers, and deeper ones. On the obvious level are several possibilities, such as:  The student might be using a different, perfectly legitimate, sequence to get the same result. Affirming that [...more] Making tango your own 16 June 2013 You are investing time, power, and heart into this dance. It may sound obvious, but it’s crucial to remind yourself that you’re doing all this for your own pleasure. Tango is a space of self-expression, elation, and emotional intensity that are very personal. It’s also an authoritarian, righteous, rules-centered, judgmental world. Perhaps too easily, we [...more] Experience the “real” tango… 9 December 2012 But Argentines say that the music itself brings emotions into you, and this is why they emphasize that to understand tango you must learn the language, even the old Lunfardo words and phrases. You must feel the pathos of the songs in order to fully experience the emotion of tango. Once and For All: Tango Nuevo is Not a Style of Dance 18 July 2012 “Before ... creating tango steps was all about inspiration … but now we have this tool. And I think many people call it ‘nuevo tango’ because they couldn’t understand how all those steps just appeared…they didn’t realize it was the same thing that they were looking at.” An ode to Club Atlético de Quilmes and Authentic Argentine Tango, by Alistair Baillie 5 May 2012 This post is an ode to Club Atlético Argentino de Quilmes. It features Diego Armando Maradona, Lionel Andrés Messi, Thomas and James Hogg, H. de Winton and J. C. Thring, and Royal Shrovetide Football too, but it is primarily an ode to the students of Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires that formed Argentino de Quilmes [...more] About “Authenticity” 1 January 2012 I have forbidden myself from using the word "authenticity". I don't give "that's the way it's done" as an explanation, and I don't let myself say "how it is in Buenos Aires". Don't get me wrong, I love Buenos Aires and dancing there. But I recognize that these explanations don't serve my goals as a teacher and dancer - to empower my students and make tango culturally relevant. Buenos Aires A social milonga 23 September 2015 In Buenos Aires the worst thing that can happen to you at a milonga is not to find a table. At a table, you are never alone. Even if everyone else is dancing, you are obviously part of a group. Once you are sitting, you too are a host, watching out for arriving friends or handsome tourists who need a place. In Berlin, if you are lucky you get a chair, to wait in and to which you are not attached. Dancers in Berlin milongas are in perpetual solitary motion and circulation. Happy Tango in Buenos Aires 23 May 2014 I am so glad to find this book. An English woman who started dancing in her 40s has written a book of really good tips on how to make sure you have a happy time and blissful dancing when you go to Buenos Aires. (This is not always easy to do.) She has 11 smart [...more] Interview with Roberto Martinez 17 January 2014 I’m sitting with Roberto in the milonga. He knows every song, and each one triggers a story about the men in the orquestra. “This guy Alberto Castillo had 200 suits. And shoes to match each one. They called him El Electrico because he sings as if he put his finger in the power point. His [...more] Right, wrong, and handsome 2 September 2013 “It’s an interesting phrase…” my student said. “–The one the Argentine teachers use: ‘It’s not wrong, but…’ Why do they say that?” There are obvious answers, and deeper ones. On the obvious level are several possibilities, such as:  The student might be using a different, perfectly legitimate, sequence to get the same result. Affirming that [...more] Pilates Buenos Aires 23 August 2013 Mil grullas, Barrio Norte, beautiful studio in old building in tranquil neighborhood: Gascón 1454 at El Salvador T. 4867 2491. Equilibrio Vitalidad Armonia PIlates, Villa Crespo. untranquil street, cramped floorspace, but airy and natural lit studio, high in an apartment building (unmarked buzzer) 10th Floor Unit C. Eva is a vigilant instructor and appears to [...more] Packing for Buenos Aires 3 July 2012 You will need to feel great. Bring whatever makes you feel Sexy Sexy Sexy (daytime stuff too). Do not pack anything that you feel so-so in. You won't even want to go to the grocery store in it. A Passing Embrace 1 April 2012 It’s the performance that counts. You drag your self into another reality, propped up with costumes and glue. You may not believe it, but you will convince those who aren’t paying close attention anyway. About “Authenticity” 1 January 2012 I have forbidden myself from using the word "authenticity". I don't give "that's the way it's done" as an explanation, and I don't let myself say "how it is in Buenos Aires". Don't get me wrong, I love Buenos Aires and dancing there. But I recognize that these explanations don't serve my goals as a teacher and dancer - to empower my students and make tango culturally relevant. Guide to Buenos Aires 7 November 2011 Neighborhoods and great apartments, transportation, my favorite food, pilates, milongas, teachers, shopping. Plus updates on the queer and ex-nuevo scenes. Getting custom shoes made in Buenos Aires 28 August 2011 EVERY shoe store (except 2×4) will tell you that they do “custom” shoes: “Anything you want!”. We learned that what this means is that they will change the colors and materials of the models they make. It has NOTHING to do with the fit. If you have a VERY unusual foot, what you actually need [...more] Nuevo Tango Doesn’t Exist, But it Sure is Taking up a Lot of Space on the Dance Floor 19 July 2011 Indeed, a visitor to Buenos Aires could not today distinguish between traditional and new milongas based on the music played, the embrace used, steps and movements, which orchestras are invited to play, or which dancers are invited to perform. What is different is age of patrons, and whether the tables are hosted and segregated... Why we need Feminist Tango 18 March 2010 A feminist tango is not anti-man in any way, but it is pro-woman. It means we give each other the same gracious generosity that we habitually and unhesitatingly offer to strange men. It means we give each other more, and what that more can be is open to the imagination of every woman who has suffered the unique and poignant pains of tango.