Why I love Eugenia Parrilla

Vio's Blog: Argentine Tango
eugenia loft

This week it is my very great honor to welcome Eugenia Parrilla and Yanick Wyler to Tangoloft, on behalf of Mona Isabelle.

Of course there’s a lot to love.  What seems distinguishes her from so many other dancers, amateur and professional, is the Source of her Pleasure. (I should say ‘apparent Source’ because obviously I do not know what is going on with her. I can only talk about what I see.)

There are three usual sources of tango pleasure for women:

  • Being a good girl.
  • Pride in getting this man (temporarily or permanently).
  • Intense emotional relief at receiving some moments of tender attention from a man.

I have experienced and pursued all of these pleasures. But I don’t think they develop my best, or tango’s.

Eugenia seems to find other pleasures in our dance:

  • She seems to be using tango to express herself, rather than reaching hungrily for ancient gender detritus.
  • She seems to be using her whole body to the limits of her own possibility, rather than within a codified range of movement.


After their show, I had the unanticipated experience to dance with Yanick. I had been so focused on Eugenia that I hadn’t really given Yanick much of my attention as a dancer. But of course he’s her match. I didn’t feel his arms, only the power of his body moving around me, and his smile like sunshine on my face. In 20 seconds he figured out what I could do, and in four songs he worked with my strengths, found my limits, and created something beautiful with them. That’s dancing.

And something felt familiar in his dance, an echo from years ago, from that era in Buenos Aires when the men I danced with surprised me, because their improvisation was driven by an ardent investigation of how to break patterns. These days there are few surprises. The lack of ambition of the current tango era is driving me to drink and get out my stopwatch in milongas.

No one will ever dance like Eugenia Parrilla, but there are some things of her dance that I dare to want:

  1. I want to be allowed the pleasure to move my own body. I want to be trusted to do that. The misunderstanding happens here: When I say that I want to move, people interpret that as autonomous movement. “Might as well Mark then, or take up Contact Improv.” I’ve done both of those, and that is NOT the point. I don’t want to do so much as an unmarked voleo, or to slow down the mark. I want to do his movement on his timing, but I want to control my muscles as I do it, so that I can enjoy it. I do not want to be forced. I want to be trusted to move my own body. When I’m allowed to do this, I can create more possibilities for him.
  2. I want the mark to use my possibilities fully. I can’t do what Eugenia can do, but I can do things that not everyone can do and I want to know that my training and acumen are being put to service in developing maximum creativity at every moment.


You have to enjoy every part of the movement.
–Eugenia Parrilla

Eugenia Parrilla



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