How will Tango communities ever learn Argentine Tango when very popular festivals mislead people? Many Tango Festivals in North America host a variety of teachers who teach a variety of dances. Instead of Argentine Tango, it is a mix of Nuevo Tango or other alternative varieties. In order to educate those learning Tango, festivals should be named appropriately. If the focus is on Nuevo Tango, then the festival should be named the “Nuevo Tango Festival”.
We remember a time when we didn’t understand the difference. We went to a Tango Festival and took lessons with Cecilia Gonzalez, all the time thinking we were learning Argentine Tango.
Organizers should take it upon themselves to educate the community. If you like Nuevo Tango or various alternative versions of Tango, that’s OK. But then be proud of that and advertise honestly.
We agree with the idea that one should learn Tango from the people who danced it long ago and who have danced it for years and years (i.e., Milongueros). However, what do you do when it’s extremely difficult to find these Milongueros and to find Milongueros who teach? Being able to dance does not mean you are a good teacher. What do you do when each Milonguero has his own idea of what is “right” in Tango? For example: toe first vs. heel first for the man or arm around the neck vs. wherever is comfortable for the woman. What do you do when some of these Milongueros actually don’t feel all that great to dance with? That’s right, not every Milonguero feels incredible.
These were our dilemmas until we found a teacher who was able to change our overall dance with every lesson while most teachers were only changing “things” within our dance. This teacher is not a milonguero, although he plans to be one. He is young, but has offered us and our dancing more than anyone we’ve come across in Buenos Aires.
Another factor that helped us with this AGE old question is that we don’t want to dance or look like the old Milongueros. Well yes, we do want to dance together as harmoniously and musically as some of these Milonguero couples do and yes we hope to one day find our Tango the way they have found theirs. However, that is not our point. What we’re trying to say is: We’re young!? Jorge can stand straight and doesn’t shuffle when he walks. K can straighten her legs and walk easily in heels. How ridiculous to think we should look to the Milongueros as VISUAL examples. There is a reason that many Milongueros completely respect some of the younger dancers. Only a few weeks ago, we saw Alberto Dassieu praising Javier Rodriguez after his performance at Sunderland. The same Javier Rodriguez that has been criticized for dancing choreography, dancing too big, not knowing how to dance socially, etc, etc, etc. All things spoken in ignorance.
As young individuals and fairly new Tangueros, we allow our incredibly talented, young teachers to improve our dancing. It is with time and the experiences of life that Tango will find us.
Everyone says it takes a lifetime to learn Tango. We don’t believe that. We believe:
It takes a lifetime to Tango