Showing posts from November, 2013

Sydney's Growing Force in Tango Music

Last night I went to the Sydney Conservatorium of Musics ' 5 Years of Tango' concert which showcased the work of the young musicians from the Conservatorium High School and the Sydney Youth Orchestra. 5 Years ago a very talented and dedicated musician and teacher, Maggie Ferguson, launched a program to introduce tango ensembles to the young musicians of Australia, calling it TangoOz. I went to their first concert and was surprised and delighted to see young people playing tango - though they lacked the passion and understanding of the music that I was used to hearing on recordings.
Not so last night! 8 ensembles or orchestras played and the standard was world class. I have been to other concerts at the Con. and I know that the standard is universally high, but last night was Awesome.
Carreon Tango, a family group was outstanding. Melody had written her own tango which they performed and the group, with a virtuosic young violinist, was clearly loving every moment of playing ta…

Balance and tango

This is not about getting a balance in your life that includes tango… this can be very hard to do when you are hooked, but about staying balanced while you dance.
My dancing days began in the rock 'n' roll era, so I have been balancing on 2 legs for many years. But I have only been dancing tango for 14 years, I came to it after my family had grown, and I fell in love with the music at a WOMAD festival. One of the things I find most difficult about tango is balance - and last night when I danced after midnight, with a young Argentinian half my age I noticed it particularly. His movements were slow and elegant, completely musical, but necessitating that I keep my balance all the time, more difficult to do in a slow tango than in a waltz or milonga.
Tango itself is an exercise in balance, so is the yoga I do most days of the week, but still I find that balance is not always intuitive.
Our vestibular system has a balance centre inside our ears that detects whether we are upright, …

Ruminations on the Sydney tango scene

I'm back in Sydney, but am I back in tango? I'm not sure. Before I went away a community project I had suggested to the tango club here in Sydney was mercilessly scuttled. Together with loss of a major venue and low numbers all round I felt sad about where tango in Sydney was going. Also the major information source for tango information in Sydney was under new management... what would happen there?
I thought a few weeks travelling and I would come back refreshed and ready to enjoy the dance and music I find so enthralling, once more. But I haven't - partly I think because my social hub is slowly moving away.
 I find the scene is factionalising more and more, numbers are down at some of the big milongas, many of my friends are giving up or cutting back, disillusioned with the factions and looking for something more, and the good dancers seem to be fewer and fewer.  On top of this there are groups splitting off with different notions of tango, creating their own thing, not …