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 recent choice and I guess it is because this tango DJ has a younger crowd that he usually plays for. I have also heard cumbia, children's songs, rock 'n' roll and Glen Miller. I find the cortina can affect the mood - what do you think? How important is the cortina to the mood of the night? Love to hear what you think.

Comments

Patricia said…
Hi Angelina, I like to think of the cortina as a refreshing palate-cleanser. However, the transition from tanda to cortina shouldn't be too jarring. (An extreme example was heavy-metal cortinas used by a young, inexperienced DJ in BsAs some years ago!) On the other hand, it shouldn't dampen the mood and send people off to sleep.

Danceability of the music doesn't come into the equation for me, as it will always be non-tango.

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