Showing posts from August, 2012

And the Stage Tango World Champions are...

The 2012 winners of the Stage Tango Championship are Cristian Sosa and Maria Noel Scutio. See entry below for the Salon Champions. The locals will be pleased that the 5 couples in the finals were all Argentinians. When the winners have not been Argentinians there has been quite a bit of controversy in the tango press - no doubt this time there will be discussion about why there were no couples from outside the host country!

It's World Tango Championship time again

Each year it seems to come round more quickly. This year the salon Tango champions are locals - which will please the Argentinos!In fact the top 4 couples were all Argentinian. Facundo de la Cruz Gomez Palavecino and Paola Sanz, who are couple in real life as well, won with a score of 8.81 from the jury of seven. There were 491 coupls from 32 countries (not Australia) in the competition and 42 couples made it to the final. This year the festival also paid tribute to Astor Piazzolla, whose orchestral tangos are loved by many outside the world of tango dancing - as well as within. Piazzolla's grandson, Daniel Piazzolla, brought together an octet in the style of the Electronic Octet, a group Astor Piazzolla established in the 1970s. Here is a video of the winning couple performing at the famous Salon Canning this month.

why run a milonga

I run milongas and I don't teach - to some this makes me a pariah - I am not sure why. I suspect they think I make pots of money from the milongas, or that I do it to make others lives miserable! On the contrary I run milongas because I love organising events, I love putting together playlists of Golden Age, I get a real buzz when people tell me they have enjoyed the night and it is a great social occasion for me. Today I was reading an article about tango in Buenos Aires in relation to the ongoing Festival/Championship and there was a very well-thought out paragraph on the roll of the milonga which said: "Milongas have always been the lynch pin of tango culture. However they are independently financed and generally receive no financial subsidy from the government. Coordinating and sustaining a milonga is a precarious business. The organiser must rent a salon, hire a band, and pay to market the event. Often the salon owner takes all the money from the bar, leaving only the m…

Cortinas - getting them right

For those new to tango the cortina is the snippet of non-tango music that goes in between the brackets of tango, waltz and milonga and allows couples time to change partners or leave the floor. A cortina is generally between 30 and 60 seconds. For me a cortina needs to signal the end of that tanda without being intrusive, or inviting people to dance (as a piece of cumbia or salsa might do). I also like to choose my cortinas from the same era as the music I play - which is 95% Golden Age. I have a huge collection of popular music from the 1920s to 1970s and have no trouble finding a cortina that I believe does the task. In fact I have had frequent comments on my cortinas which often echo the theme of the evening. Our themes are usually pretty low key but when we did a Ritzy evening I used Fred Astaire singing 'Puttin on the Ritz', and I frequently use Django Reinhardt, Fats Waller and Al Bowlly. That's me. Others use something quite different. Loud, club music was a recen…

Come and Dance at Willoughby on Friday

If you like dancing to Golden Age tango on a well-sprung wooden floor, if you like a milonga set up as they do in Buenos Aires with small tables facing the floor, if you like yummy home made cakes with your coffee and a huge car park at the door - and if you like a friendly crowd - then there's a good chance you'll like the Club Willoughby milonga this Friday. I'd love you to come and join the dancing from 8pm at Club Willoughby, 26 Crabbes Ave, Willoughby It starts at 8pm... contact me - - if you want more info

To teach... or not to teach

This is not a dilemma I have. I have been learning to dance tango for more than a decade and many of the people I first went to class with in Sydney have set themselves up as tango teachers - with varied success, but always with a following. I love tango music - it was that which first drew me to the dance - and I do organise milongas, two or three times a month. Because I don't teach I don't have a loyal crowd of followers who would come to my milongas regardless...I rely on people knowing that we play Golden Age classics and do our utmost to make each milonga special and it is much more difficult to attract customers this way, but all the milonga organisers in BA don't teach - and I don't want to teach something I have not been trained to teach. Why am I writing this post today? Because I have just seen an announcement on FB about yet another tango 'teacher' setting up. It is a good little money earner if you get the expenses right, and I believe that every s…