Authenticity

Searching for the Italian in Argentine Tango: second entry

The “something”, I believe, is the fire of urgency. And this is what is missing in Europe, and it is what makes Americans relatively good tangueros. It is the desperation which drives you to invade a stranger with your personality and with the utter confidence that you are SEXY.

The Old World

I went to Italy to eat tortelli, not to dance. I am immediately disoriented. Everything looks, and smells, like Buenos Aires. The hallway of the

The Tradition Tension

“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.

Maestro’s reflections

He shared one criterion he uses for observing a dance: “Would that dance make sense if they were alone in a room?” I loved his idea because I am well aware that my best tangos happen at the end of the night, when no one is watching and it’s more likely that my partner and I fuse and travel beyond space, time, and mind.

Carbonara and Tango

Tango and Carbonara (or the Should and the Could)

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.

You're never wrong in tango

Right, wrong, and handsome

“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,

Making tango your own

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

Tango Bigotry

Tango bigotry

Why are some of us so intent on putting down others’ way of dancing? While encouraging entrants to celebrate their love of tango and have

The emotions of tango music and dancing

Experience the “real” tango…

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.

Authentic Argentine Tango

About “Authenticity”

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.

Pablo Aslan

Pablo Aslan on tango music

    Pablo Aslan is a tango musician and musicologist who is very historically informed and clear thinking. He is working on his own music, with

Themes

Important Insights

Books

Power is the courage, confidence, and competence to make things happen. I want to create in a way that’s incomparable and define my own compensation package. You too?

Syntax of Power is a raw, potent, and spare revelation of how I got to where I am and how I take on the struggle every day.

This book is not about tango, it’s about everything else.

It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.

Dyv stands for Duro y Vio. We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.

Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries … the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…

We published the book in 2009. Dancers asked “how did you know what I was feeling?”

Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

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