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Showing posts from January, 2009

Three new tango schools in Sydney - all run by women

The tale of the origins of tango in Sydney is different depending on who you talk to, but when I first decided that I would like to find out more, I could only find one school. Advertised in Friday's Metro in the SMH it was run by an excellent teacher and dancer, who was living temporarily in Sydney. I later discovered that there was an Argentinian teacher who also taught - and that there was a milonga in Glebe that was established in 1999. However for me the only milonga was once a month, on a Tuesday, in a club beside Sydney Harbour, that is no longer.
If you are a beginner on the tango scene you will be forgiven for being confused. It seems that tango schools are flourishing at the moment and some are run by the same people!
If you go to thelinks pageof TangoAustralia you will find 22 entries - take away the schools outside Sydney, a community website and the tango club and you have 17 schools! Add to that at least 3 schools that don't have websites and it's back to 22. T…

Putting together playlists for milongas

Are DJs performers? I certainly feel like one when I am putting together a playlist for a milonga. I start from scratch everytime and try to build a list that I hope will have something in it for everyone and have most people on the floor most of the night. Tall order I have found, but I have had some really flattering comments about my music so I know I am getting it right some of the time.
I was really pleased with last Saturday's Milonga de Mis Amores at Gladesville. Friendly crowd, 4 tango school organisers attended and the venue once again didn't let us down. (As you can gather I have been let down by venues in the past and it is the bane of the Sydney milonga organisers trying to find good, reliable venues). And the music was appreciated.
It has taken some time to build up what I feel it a good basic tango music library - however as a one-time acquisitions librarian I know that one never stops acquiring and building a library or it becomes stale . I've recently been co…

Our tango fame spreads to America

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A couple of days ago I received an email from a radio station in Pennsylvania in the US asking for contacts with Australian tango orchestras and tango musicians - so they could put together a program on Australian tango music! How wonderful is that? It came via a tango contact in another state and TangoAustralia has been able to put the programmer in touch with 16 Australian tango orchestras/bands - we have 12 links on the website and there are a few more who don't have websites.
So as soon as I know when the program will be broadcast we will announce it on this blog, on TangoAustralia and the other tango groups that we belong to - including the one we were recently invited to join in the US called Tango Connections. Tango Connections has been set up as a free access website for anyone interested in tango... handy if you are planning a trip to the US at any time.

Last night - a stranger ignored and a gauche promotion

The Marrickville milonga run by Tango Entre Amigos started off quietly last night, but was buzzing by 9.30. It is a great floor - probably the biggest in Sydney - and the music by DJ Fabian is always good - last night it was excellent. Predictably it follows a pattern going from old to newer and back again, but that is far preferable to undanceable tango orchestras of the 1950s to 2000s - or Piazzolla written for the concert hall, that is played by some of Sydney's DJs.
It started off slowly for me, not many dances until well into the night. As a woman who does not ask for a dance this is always a potential problem as I've mentioned before.
Two things happened last night though. The first was a well-known Sydney dancer and teacher handing out fliers for his milonga, unasked for - and in fact handing them to people at my table, in front of me, knowing that his event conflicted with mine. Bad manners or just gauche? I prefer the latter as he probably had no idea.
(10 days later: I …

Teachers dancing with students

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In the last post I made the point that I believed that teachers who dance with their students and patrons of their milongas make their patrons and students feel welcome... and I believe it is not only good for business but also for their tango profile! It seems the teacher attitude problem is a universal one - Arlene from Arlene's London Tango Pages took up the topic on her blog. You will also find some interesting, though not surprising quotes from an American blogger who lives in Buenos Aires.
And taking it a step further, Tangocherie, who has been writing from BsAs for many years has done a very good job of putting the tango teacher personality into perspective. ''Teachers" she writes "have a personal advantage over their students: the advantage of power and perceived knowledge." It is not unusual for students to fall in love, or develop a crush on, heir teachers - it was forever the case. Most of us will have experienced this emotion, if not with tango,…

What women want at a milonga - My New Year Wishes

As end of year festivities wind down and most of the milongas fill up again, I have sat with a few women chatting about milongas, milonga etiquette and tangueros. Why? Because at the last 2 milongas there were many more women than men - i.e. 10-15! too many, which is a pity as some women will leave the scene if the men don't come back - or if the men who are there don't dance with more than just their regular partner. These conversations have led to putting together a few New Year's Wishes on milonga etiquette.

More men would to take advantage of uneven numbers
As someone with a partner I feel privileged. I am especially privileged because my partner actually looks around the room and dances with women he notices have not had any dances, or have not danced for a while. Though it means that I miss out it also means that others don't. Of course some men are simply not aware of the problem - or are unable to see the opportunity.

More teachers to dance with their own studen…