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TangoForge does Burlesque

redlightnovemberposterFor some time, I’ve been interested in presenting tango in the context of burlesque.

I’m a fan, and whenever I’m enjoying it, I’m reminded of the many and contradictory relations between tango and burlesque:

  • Like burlesque, tango is All About Gender — I call it “drag for straight people
  • When I see a burlesque show I always feel sorry for the girls, because I get to dress sexy and show off every night when I go out dancing, not just once a month…
  • Like burlesque, tango is erotic but defocuses genitalia. Watching me do a very normal tango dance at my house, a friend said “that was so sexual I felt I should leave the room.”
  • Tango and burlesque are both about walking in high heels. We have a technology for the sexy walk…
  • For me, tango “style” is too conservative. I like to dance in platform boots…
  • While I think tango teachers need to stop advertising tango with clichés (fishnet stocking + red dress with slit + high heels + suit) because a lot of people don’t relate to them. The exception is Burlesque people, who do relate to the tango cliché style. They might want to try?

Without resolving any of that…

The aspect of tango that I’m most interested in showing as a performer is the fact that every single step is improvised and every movement of my leg is led by my partner. We are communicating in real time, by touch, and that level of connection is HOT. (I say it feels like a second date, when you are unwaveringly present and attentive to one another, and then spend the rest of the relationship trying to get that feeling back.) For some time I’ve been imagining a burlesque number in which my partner blindfolds me to draw attention to the fact that I can follow his improvisation only by touch…


Here’s the script we gave to the MC:

Ok ladies and gentlemen, there is something I have got to get you to understand before we start the next number.

What you are about to see is not choreographed. NOT choreographed. It is improvised — it’s about to be improvised before your eyes.

Improvised means that they have no idea what they’re going to do yet.


There are going to be boots. Every single thing you see those boots do is conceived and directed by the man in white. And at any given moment he has roughly 71 options to choose from. And he can only communicate with his skin.

Please welcome Tango Forge.
And here’s the video:

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