In this Distance from milongas, I dance alone with the ocean. What are you doing and how are you feeling about tango, with the perspective of some Distance? I created a workbook to help us think about this.
Many different words are used to describe post-Golden Age tango: nuevo, electro, neo, alternative, contemporary, con-tango, fusion … Some people even use the term ‘non-tango’. The term ‘neotango’ is becoming more common in Europe, and its meaning is becoming more interesting. As I’ve learned more, I feel that it would help us to have some clarity and consensus where possible about these terms,
Is it my ochos? Is it my smile? My friends are skinnier and younger and more charming than me. Is it my dancing or my personality?
Argentines did not get Tango out of Argentina and build a global community
so that we can go dancing every night all over the world.
Local organizers did that.
They are the the heros to admire.
I watch the milonga. What are we waiting for? An angel to fall from the ceiling into my lap. Because none of these mortals here please me, nor I them. Some ancient thing, some vestige, someone else’s dream – anything that will embrace me, lift me from this chair, and make the merry-go-round spin once […]
Milonga Popular is an extraordinary tango project. Founded by Sven Elze and Pedram Shahyar in 2013, Milonga Popular has proven to be a sustainable and successful model for building new tango communities. This year, Sven and I have spent many hours working together to analyze and articulate exactly what are the questions and lessons which […]
“We have to stop using the name ‘Argentine Tango’. I know that’s what we’re doing, and we’re doing it more authentically and precisely than most people, but that name is counterproductive to the dance we want to do. It conjures an image of a culture that we don’t really want anything to do with, and that the athletic people we’d like to be dancing with, are not attracted to.”
To create “The Perfect Tanguera” I wrote to my 10 favourite Milongueros of all time to ask for their advice. These aren’t professionals, or my dance partners, or my friends. They are actually the 10 most delicious men I’ve danced with anywhere in the world over the last 10 years. Most of them are guys I was too shy to even have a conversation with.
Congratulations! After years of hard work, you are now mastering this dance! You can make girls feel really good and happy. Girls are starting to look for you, snuggle you, hang around you. This feels great! You’re a nice guy; you are not planning to use your newfound advantage to become a womanizer, but you […]
People attending this event have a genuine interest in tango being creative. To the extent that couples on the floor emerged from the depths to pay attention to one another, they seemed to feel enriched by others’ movements. Here, if you do something extreme, people smile at you.
I can feel the hunger of the women. I know that hunger for tango ecstasy. I know it as an addiction, as a wound, as a sweet balm. I know that dancing with them won’t be enough. I can give them my best and they will still be hungry. If I have any responsibility for the event, this sensation drains me to the point that I desperately want to lay down on the floor and go to sleep.
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.
Sven Elze and Pedram Shahyar, Tango Kollektiv The challenge facing every tango professional is how to attract new dancers. We all have lots of ideas, and we know that most of them don’t work. If we had more students, the teachers wouldn’t need to compete, and most of our tango wars would go away. Sven […]
You’re too tired to contemplate putting on your shoes. You’re worn out by life. You want to cry, or scream, or get drunk. And it was a crazy day. There’s no time for dinner now. But the milonga beckons. Maybe you’ll feel better there? You remind yourself that last night did not make you feel […]
Globally, the best coffee is served in places with inadequate and injurious seating… Black Star and Blue Bottle in Sydney and San Francisco. Here in Berlin Double Eye and the Barn. If there are enough chairs accompanied by a table of the appropriate height you probably won’t want to drink the coffee. So I am […]
Wow, I thought I was free of this. In Dresden I wrote in my notebook that I was over the addiction. In fact it seemed long-gone. But I get one little taste last night and my nose is on the table. It’s a curse to be excited. You’re doomed. The whole day is waiting for […]
Tangotourist in Berlin, Summer 2014 This milonga is so the way it should be that I’m in shock. Lots of girls dancing together, men skipping and giggling, all kinds of whimsical music, soltadas everywhere, a breadboard with shared bread, a kitchen, big bouquets of fresh flowers, couches, candles, cats. Nobody watching much. People dancing for […]
I was an economist with a salary on automatic deposit, poised to receive University tenure. I spent weekends at peace demonstrations and dinner parties. I was disappointed and jaded. I had looked for connection in research collaborations and community service. I found it in the arms of old men and US marines. My story is […]
In Castellano, the mood of the milonga is called ‘onda’, a term used to describe the combined effects of everything from architecture to astrology. “The Onda” is an ineffable mix of the shape of the space, the lighting, the attitude of the organizer, the music, the feeling of the floor, who is there, who is […]
So the function of cortinas is to determine if we’ll be having sex or not. Cortinas mean that we are engaged in a negotiation. No cortinas, no sex. This is a very good example of why we need to investigate the “authentic traditions” of tango and see if they serve us or not.
One of the most painful parts of tango for aRrevel is waiting, or sitting. It makes us feel passive and powerless when we wait for someone –anyone– to ask us for a dance. This is a mistaken perception of the situation and revels can develop a deeper understanding of what is going on.