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Showing posts from April, 2009

It’s official...the tango clique is alive!

How sad that in our little tango scene there are people who make others so unhappy they leave! The poll I ran a couple of weeks ago asked whether anyone had left the tango scene because it was cliquey and 8per cent said they had! I wish I knew who these people are because I would like to make it up to them. Sadly it is not just the tango scene that does this to people. When my children were at school cliques manifested themselves at the school gate, among the mums taking their children to and from school; at playgroup and amongst the soccer parents, to name a few. Parents didn’t take their children out of school though, it was not that easy.
When you take up a dance because you love the music, or the dance or both, or are driven by an unknown force to immerse yourself in the latin passion that is tango, it is very sad to be run out by unfriendly forces. 18 per cent of my respondents said it made them think seriously about leaving tango.
Interesting that only 4 per cent said they had …

Chacarera poll results

A few weeks ago I asked readers of this blog for their opinion on the current fashion of including chacarera at milongas - particularly in Sydney which is where I mostly dance.
Chacaerera is a folk dance and music that is popular in Argentina and Bolivia. If you would like to know more you will find stacks of information on Wikipedia .
Wikipedia describes it as a partner dance with similarities to Chilean Zamacueca and the Peruvian Marinera. Very basically the women are 'seduced' by the man stamping his food (zapateo) and handkerchief waving ending with an embrace.

So we found that:

30 per cent enjoy dancing itNobody enjoyed watching others dancing it3 per cent would like to learn to dance chacarera50 per cent thought it was a waste of time at Sydney milongas5 per cent would like to learn it.

Of course it has its place in it’s places of origin, but in Sydney it seems out of place. We don’t have the teachers or the dancers…

Newcomer's guide to tango in Buenos Aires

At last I will be visiting Argentina again. It is so long since I have been that I am expecting big changes and it will be exciting to see what has changed and what has stayed the same. When I last visited it reminded me of Italy in the 1970s when as a young, impressionable backpacker I fell immediately in love with its crumbling architecture, the romantic language, the history - and the food. For Argentina substitute tango for food!
So I have decided to put together a 'Newcomers Guide to Tango in Buenos Aires' - for Australians. There are stacks of tips on the internet and in blogs of course and I am talking to everyone I can who has visited BsAs in the last 12 months... If you have been recently and have a few moments I'd love to know if you have:
tips about pitfalls - just read about Scott's experience with a fake SIM card at a newspaper kiosk on his Tango Trails blog - but I am sure there are many otherssuggestions on great places to eat - and your favourite dishesd…

Tango on Youtube

Since the birth of the TangoAustralia website I have learnt a great deal about the culture of tango, tango history and tango music - and one of the sources has been Youtube. I am also a student of history so you can imagine how excited I was to discover film clips of the orchestras such as Juan D'Arienzo's playing such classics as 'El Choclo' and Louis Armstrong singing 'Kiss of Fire' (aka El Choclo) or Edgardo Donato's orchestra playing ''Se Va Las Vida". Now they are gone. Apparently the person who uploaded these gems onto Youtube committed some kind of misdeamenour.
Of course I understand about copyright, but I naievely thought these were safe as I also watch Youtube video clips from the Australian War Memorial and the National Library for other projects...
If anyone knows where one can watch old film clips of these wonderful orchestras, apart of Youtube (where they are no longer) then please let me know

A Tango Fairy Tale

As we have a Tango Festival coming up in New Zealand - and Australia - I think many will find this posting from Pantina very interesting. Many Aussies have a Sex-in-the-City image of New York (even those of us who've been there) so we won't be surprised to find that, like Sydney and many other tango towns, there is an IT (I'm Terrific at Tango /I'm a Tango Teacher) crowd who look down their noses at those they do not consider worthy of their patronage. Pantina's story is delightful - and what a plug for the tango scene in San Francisco.

Tango bits and pieces

We published our April Tango News on the tangoaustralia website on the weekend. Sometimes getting news about tango events out of the organisers is as rewarding as finding your favourite milonga has closed down - but we persevere. Guess that's the journalist in our make-up. Melburnians are generally the worst - is it the Melbourne/Sydney rivalry ? or are they generally not aware that any publicity is good publicity. We have a fantastic section on TangoAustralia set up one of our early tireless workers, known as Milonga Profiles. A free listing of your milonga with a photo, contact details, how to get there info... and only one Melbourne milonga thinks it is worthwhile sending us a photo! I grew up in the city of Aussie Rules and I still don't understand. Brisbane is a different matter.-
We are hoping to hear more news on the Tango Championship - and will certainly post that when it comes to hand for those who are interested. I have done a bit of an about face on the Championsh…

Avoiding tango cliques

I just threw the poll about cliquishness up the other day because I was feeling fragile. Life has been emotionally tough for me lately and when you are feeling fragile is not the time to visit tango events where you know the cliques are strong. I am someone who removes themselves from groups when cliques are evolving and thus makes bad 'friends'.
It is my experience that, among others, tango attracts the vulnerable and the socially inept. Of these some will find friendship and new confidence, others will turn their perceived prowess on the dance floor to an arrogance off the floor and form groups of like-minded misguided people. This doesn't only happen at tango - I have seen it happen in other groups for different reasons but for whatever reason it occurs cliquishness creates artificial divides and bad vibes.
Sydney is now such a big tango scene that along with the cliquishness has come another tango scene. If you are not part of, or don't want to be part of, those who …