Tag Archives: Nuevo

Gringo Milongas

It had to be done.  Might as well do it when there’s an excuse.  We wanted to see a demo by the young teachers we had the three privates with and go along to celebrate one of their birthdays.  That was what brought us to Canning.  The “infamous” Canning.  Gringo Palace.

We went on a Friday night and we’ve been told that that is not one of the better days to go.  In fact, there are days when it is worth going and even recommended to go.  However on that Friday (the night of the week, gringos tend to go there), it was packed and it was packed with gringos (along with a handful of lovely local dancers).  What this meant was that the floor was full of dancers who, in the majority, had no floorcraft skills.  Plus the majority of them were dancing some alternative variety of Tango.  We will never understand why all the gringos congregate at this milonga ESPECIALLY when they are only visiting for a couple weeks.  Apparently they want to further solidify and feel justified in their “style” of Tango.  Yet if they ventured outside of their Gringo Palaces, they would observe that Argentine Tango does not look, feel, or move the way their Tango does.

Now if Canning depressed us, La Viruta made us want to slit our wrists (the proper way – not the “cry for attention” way)!  The birthday party made its way there and we thought this was the perfect opportunity to go. There were a handful of lovely Argentine Tango dancers.  There were possibly two lovely Nuevo Tango couples… and the rest were dancers of alternative versions of Tango.  We were told by an “almost” local that yes, La Viruta is basically a pick-up joint after 3am (by non-dancers and dancers alike).  Wow… that does not speak highly of this milonga in our books.

Playground Tango?


We found this excellent article and quoted it on Facebook:

“New ‘Nuevo Tango’ Sacrifices Tradition and Grace

…There is a kind of (for lack of a better term) tribal European dance that many people believe is tango, which is indeed called tango, in which the basic precepts of Argentine tango dance are being ignored, things like a proper lead, following the music, knowing the history of the dance and the music, respecting your partner, dressing well. These are concepts one would think would be the bread and butter of tango, which has traditionally been the most difficult social dance in the world, and one of the most beautiful…..

…I call it Playground Tango.

There is a great deal of this in North America and Europe, and it is all quite self-congratulatory. It represents a break from the old. Indeed it looks down its nose at the old as ‘revolutionary’, ‘alternative’, and ‘organic.’”

The full article can be found here.

The article led to some interesting debates and we were left with these thoughts: Dancing Nuevo without having or seeking the knowledge of what Tango really is and where it comes from, is like the stereotypical (North) American imposing their beliefs/thoughts/actions on the foreign country they are visiting. Not surprisingly, (North) Americans tend to be the ones altering tango the most.