This topic causes us much grief. We do not understand why we constantly have to explain to people that Nuevo Tango is NOT Argentine Tango. It’s the same grief that many Tango dancers feel when they explain to their non-dancer friends that the “Argentine Tango” performance they saw on “So You Think You Can Dance” is not real Argentine Tango (We almost pulled our hair out when Nigel of SYTYCD said that A.T. is danced by men who have cigarettes hanging from their mouths and a glass of Jack Daniels in their hands – say what?!).
Nuevo Tango is no more a style of Argentine Tango than Modern Dance is a style of Ballet. Nuevo is derived from A.T. but it requires very different technique, it is often danced to completely different music, it has completely different musicality, and it has moved in a different direction where it is not a culture embedded with codes. Many people in our community attempt to dance to both (or something in between) and they never excel at either one since they haven’t taken the time to work on one or the other for any extended period of time.
In a perfect Tango world, people would know whether or not they dance Argentine Tango and they would be telling the truth when they said they danced it.