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Life on Spec

“On spec” is an abbreviation of “on speculation”. It’s a business term referring to production in hope of success. Artists are afraid to demand too much, or settle for too little, so we silently collaborate in the “contract of hope”.

Trilogy of Rage

The “therapy” of art may serve others, but it must first be the antidote for the artist. It is the gesture made necessary by the shape and material of the artist’s own experience as crucible.



This graphic has been on our home page for six years. For several of those years I have been aware that our students rarely, if ever, use the word ‘creativity’. They use the word ‘freedom’. The gap between those two words is a crucial failure to understand our own biographies and to articulate what it means to be artists.

Despair and Imagination

I was overwhelmed with despair, surely multi-valent. I was inconsolable, untouchable, reactive, helpless. I watched joy pass but could not reach to touch it.


But would I accept the right invitations if I felt cautious of everyone? Would I be able to relax my body, to trust and enjoy while also maintaining vigilance?


I always invite my students to share their confusion when teachers are telling them different things. Likewise I now feel a responsibility to explain why teachers are almost always covertly hostile to one another.

First world problems

I discover there are far more than two aesthetics for a voleo and they are all for me. I wonder what else about tango did I defer to others’ guardrails? Are there more joys and pleasure that I never claimed?

by the Sword

I am here to pick grapes. I continue to train every day, alone, but not to that music.  I dance alone to the teenagers’ band practice, a medley of American pop songs.

Showing off?

Showing off is an accusation leveled at people perceived to be doing either “stage” tango or “nuevo” tango in contexts where only “social” or “traditional” tango is authorized. The vilification rests on a concept entirely external to tango: that showing off is shameful.

To evolve or not?

In the era of Fundamentalism, modernism is in decline. Although we can ill-afford it, the modernists are now drawing battle-lines.

The New Normal is All Pleasure

It’s time to manifest my resolutions: to increase the parts of tango that make me happy and transform or abandon the parts that make me unhappy.

Thoughts on the Alfa bandoneon by Pez Pearson

“I selected the Alfa because of its distinctive Art-Deco sound openings and also because the first example I came across was keyed in the Peguri system. This would give me the opportunity to show a different keyboard layout than the 142s I had drawn so far.”

Fabián Salas, interviewed by Keith Elshaw 2001

So we went out and we started dancing, and looking for what we didn’t know … we were looking for: how many voleos were possible in Tango dancing; how many different ganchos there are; things like that. To come to a total knowledge of what’s available.

Andrew Chiw interviews Vio 2020

We talk about intentions, the development of TangoForge pedagogy, online tango education, marketing for the tango industry, and possible uses of Blockchain.

Making Tango Your Own

–Auch auf DE– Mario and Andrea were competitive ballroom dancers for some years. Eventually they tired of the rigid priorities and circumstances of competition. They resolved to continue dancing in a way that was more sustainable and directed by their own values. Finding traditional milongas uptight and unsatisfying, they renovated part of their house to make a dancing room and built their own community.

what tango gives women

The Good Girl

As I’m sure you are, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about – well, everything.
My life, decisions I made, mostly the bad ones.
Wine, the difference between Barbera and Ruché.
Tango: was it all a dream?

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