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Showing posts from 2014

Cruising into Sydney for workshops December 13

Lorena Goldestein and Cristian Gallardo will cruise into Sydney for one day this month! There is an opportunity to do a workshop with them on one day only - Saturday December 13.

Dancers, teachers and choreographers, this couple have delighted many passengers of the 'Radiance of the Seas' cruise ship with their performances. Lorena has visited Sydney before with Roberto Herrera as her partner at the 2012 Sydney Tango Salon Festival, so there will be many who remember her as a superb performer and teacher.
If you would like to find out more about the 2 workshops planned for
Saturday December 13
11.30 - 12. 50 milonguero and salon
1. to 2.30 Dynamics of close but eleastic embrace
Contact Sima of the Sydney Tango Salon Festival on 0411 822 258 or Pedro from Patio de Tango on 0418 219 188.

Encuentros... is this the way to go?

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It might be time for Sydney's tango dancers to consider encuentros?
Partly because the 2 encuentros that are already running are hugely successful. The biennial Tango in the Spring in Canberra and the annual Buenos Aires in the Southern Highlands are well established. In February ( 6 to 8) 2015 there will be a new encuentro in the beautiful beach town of Port Macquarie (pictured) which is four and a half hour's drive north of Sydney.
Plus there are certain parameters and expectations that can be applied to an encuentro in order to  can make the tango experience better for everyone.
1) Booking in order to attend. This means that the organisers can balance the men and women (I don't like the word gender)
2) An opportunity to meet dancers from areas outside your home turf and to make new friends.
3) Good music.  The DJs should be recognised by others in the tango community as good. Live music is a bonus and with more Australian musicians turning to tango for dancing let'…

Milonga attendances down - where to now Sydney?

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A fellow blogger wrote recently that the number of events across Europe has increased the competition, and it's noticeable how quiet weekend milongas ...can be. She/he could be writing about Australia, or Sydney in particular, they are actually writing about Tango Encuentros in Europe taking dancers away from local events. in London (I plan to write about encuentros and the Sydney tango community in a later post).
The main 'threat' to the long-established milongas in Sydney is different it comes rom within.
Our weekend milongas have always been organised by the large tango schools and originally there was an 'understanding' that a certain Saturday belonged to a certain school. However we soon ran out of Saturdays, obviously enough, and so weekday nights and Sunday afternoons became the time slots together with a choice of events on most Saturdays. Now these have all been 'taken' and we are finding that on many week nights there are more milongas than there…

Snobby Sydney... really?

Another Festival and another report that Sydney tango dancers are not hospitable. It is so sad, but it keeps coming round. For some reason Sydney tango dancers in general don't introduce themselves to dancers from out of town, rarely ask strangers to dance, and appear to these visitors to be only interested in impressing the dancers they already know and dance with.  In contrast on the same weekend as the Sydney Tango Salon Festival, the combined tango community groups of Tango Synergy and the Tango Social Club of Canberra held Tango in the Spring in the capital. Basically an Encuentro Milonguero, this event is all about socialising and dancing and the reports coming in are that the host city was warm and sharing.  A different type of event, but that is no excuse. The Sydney dancers who attended the events over the Tango Festival would do well to welcome out of towners, to dance with them and to socialise with them. There are many good dancers among them, though that is hardly the…

The Festival that was... just last week

I missed last year's festival, so I made sure I didn't miss one performance or milonga this year! And I feel as though I was indeed treated. This year's maestros included Virginia Gomez and Christian Marquez, known as "Los Totis'. Christian is a Melbourne boy, though you would hardly know it to speak to him, he is an essential Argentinian. His dancing is amazingly skilful and playful as is his partner's and this was the couple who conducted the Immersion course before the Festival began in earnest. Here is one of the videos from the first night, which was the Welcome Milonga, colour themed 'Blue'. You will find the other performances on this Youtube channel.

Tango news for everyone

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I have been a subscriber to milonga.me since the early days, and I am amazed at the time and energy that this crew put into keeping up to date and interesting. If you are interested in what is happening around the world, then this online newspaper is for you. Very professional both in its graphics and content it is a must-read.

A Festival to end all Festivals

The countdown is on to the Sydney Tango Salon Festival which will be held from in the heart of Sydney from 2 to 6 October. The organisers have announced that 2014 will be their last Festival and they are going out with a bang!
We are truly privileged to have the magnificent Solo Tango Orchestra playing at three of the five milongas; to have the opportunity to learn from two outstanding dancers in the Immersion course, Christian Marquez and Virginia Gomez, 'Los Totis' and to continue workshops with Vladimir Khorev and Stella Missé and Gabriel Missé and Analia Centurion. This year there are also 3 free workshops on the history and music of the orchestras and workshops for DJs and musicians. All these are held at the Bondi Pavilion which is right on the sands of Bondi Beach.
Unfortunately there is a competing tango event, an encuentro, that weekend, which though 287 km away from Sydney will draw some of Sydney and Melbourne's dancers away. This is a pity both for the dancers …

How lucky we are

In recent years Australia has had many of the world's top tango dancers and teachers visiting, delighting us with their performances, enriching us with their teaching and bringing us a taste of the magic that is Argentine tango.
But we have had few musicians, especially musicians we can dance to. Many promoters are unable to include performances at milongas  in the musicians' programs;  we are able to enjoy their music at performances as we did earlier this year with the production from Sadler's Wells, 'La Milonga'  but we are not able to dance to them.
This year is special.
This year we will have the opportunity to dance for 3 nights to one of the world's top tango orchestras. Solo Tango Orquesta, an internationally recognised top tango quartet. Solo Tango will perform at the Sydney Tango Salon Festival milongas! SoloTango has appeared at the Berlin Tango Festival, the Istanbul Tango Festival and the Dresden Tango Festival, to name a few.

They have wowed the m…

The right tango shoes

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Wearing comfortable shoes that don't cause foot problems is important all the time, it really goes without saying, though some of us will squash our poor feet into unsuitable shoes because we like (or love) them! Which usually causes problems in the end or the shoes end up in the charity shop.
Tango shoes are a thing of beauty! We fall in love with them, just as we fall in love with the music and the dance, and from time to time we may buy a pair that are totally unsuitable for our feet... does this sound like I am talking about myself?
Over the years of publishing Angelina's tango blog and the TangoAustralia website (which have now morphed into one) the subject of tango shoes has been the most popular, and I believe this is because so many of us have similar problems.
So I was delighted to see a post on the forum this week about choosing Tango Shoes... and to read about the workshop at Wintersun Tango... if shoes are an issue for you, read on! 

When to pay a DJ, Do you go to every workshop with visiting teachers... and more

Did you go to the NZ Tango Festival - what did you like and not like about it? Do you find the cost of milongas is getting too much for your budget?What do you think makes a good milonga - how important is the music to you, is it more important than the regular crowd?Do you find some milongas unfriendly?

Check out our forum if you would like to discuss these issues - or if you have an issue you would like to open discussion on...

Sebastian and Roxana in Sydney now

Last year I met Sebastian Achaval and Roxana Suarez when they were in town for the fabulous 'Tango y Nada Mas' show. They are here again (July 8 to 13) now for workshops and a performance on Saturday night.
Delightful, down-to-earth, and beautiful dancers, if you get a chance to do a workshop or watch them perform at the milonga in Marrickville , take it! This visit is sponsored by Morena dancewear.

Manners at a Milonga

Dancing at a milonga has it's own set of manners. Recently I was mulling over a delightful flier, headed Floor Craft, put together by a NSW tango School, Tango Encanto, and circulated at their milongas a couple of years ago. It lists the basics of what should be simply good manners and commonsense on the dance floor but is frequently forgotten. Then I discovered this delightful video made by popular teachers Murat and Michelle Erdemsel... I hope you will pass it onto your tango friends, your tango teachers and milonga organisers. It is very well done and very entertaining.

Too much of a good thing?

Last night we enjoyed a superb performance by visiting teachers Agustina Berenstein and Rodrigo Palacios, a truly beautiful couple whose enjoyment of the dance always comes across in their performances. I have watched them each time they have visited our shores and their dancing just gets better and better.
I don't have a video from last night, but here is one taken at the Frostbite Festival in Helsinki in February this year with Solo Tango (the band that is coming to Australia in October for the Sydney Tango Salon Festival). Double pleasure!


Next weekend I could go to Melbourne and enjoy workshops and performances with the inimitable Daniel Nacucchio and Cristina Sosa. They have a huge following in Australia having visited just about every year for the last 5 or 6 years and they are wonderful to watch and just delightful people. Then, a couple of weeks later, back in Sydney, there will be workshops with Roxanna Suarez and Sebastian Achaval, hot from the New Zealand Tango Festiva…

There is absolutely nothing like live (not recorded) music

I have just spent a week away doing absolutely no tango! Instead I have enjoyed a weekend and a night of world class classical music. Though I studied music for much of my teenage years I do not consider myself well-educated and I enjoy the challenge of listening to music I would otherwise not choose, especially live. These concerts were part of a music festival (except for the last which was the Australian Chamber Orchestra) and I listened to music by Berlioz, Messiaen, Sculthorpe, Carl Vine and Margaret Sutherland, to name a few, there were others who were totally unfamiliar.
I enjoyed the performances of excellent artists including the Australian String Quartet and pianist Michael Kieran Harvey. I absolutely loved the concert by the ACO with virtuouso cellist, Giovanni Sollima... so when I learnt that the Sydney Tango Salon Festival was bringing a world class tango orchestra as part of the line-up for the 2014 Festival - and that we would be able to enjoy their music, and dance to …

When a tango challenge is not a challenge

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This Easter weekend in Sydney was to be the second tango challenge. Based on the tango championship which has been held in Australia some years back and which continues in Argentina and other parts of the world, the concept was to reward the winning couple with a trip to Buenos Aires for a week, with accommodation and classes included. Awesome prize, but not the championship and that seems to have been the problem.
Last year many couples entered, there were heats, a final and a winning couple. Sadly I missed it was I was away, but I watched the videos and was told about it by the organiser.
This year, just five couples entered, not all from Sydney - and all of a very high standard. But sadly that was not enough to make it a viable competition and so whilst we were all treated to a performance by these couples over the Easter weekend, there was no grand prize.
This challenge was intended, I believe, to be very much something for community, to inspire those interested to work on their …

Who, what, where, when in tango in Australia

April newsletter is now online... find out what's coming up 
Please tell us your news so we can pass it on!

Tango or should it be called Lango, Rango or even Mango

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Recently I have had a discussion that I have had before with fellow tangueros/as about what is tango?
 I do not pretend to understand the people who think that tango needs their 'improvements'. By this I mean dancing tango steps to non-tango music, adding non-tango steps to tango, or standing on their heads and calling it tango. In the last 12 months we had Liquid 'Tango' which was tango danced to just about any music... now we have Rueda 'Tango' - tango danced as one does rueda in a circle dancing in unison as dictated by a caller!
Don't get me wrong I am fascinated by Rueda and I love to watch it,  however I don't think tango lends itself to this style of dancing. I believe rueda is usually danced to salsa music?
I love to watch people dance - everything from ballet to ballroom. But I feel that tango has a rich tradition, and a vast library of music that together with the dance we know as Argentine tango has evolved. There are rules and manners tha…

Your First Trip to Buenos Aires

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I have only met one or two dancers in all my years of dancing and listening to tango who didn't want to go to Buenos Aires... one day if not now.
I first visited in 2004 and have been 6 times since, each time for just a short stay as I am an inveterate traveller and can't bear to go to one part of the world without exploring.
BA has changed in many ways since that first trip just at the end of the awful financial crises that gave the city a rawness that I hadn't experienced since backpacking through Greece in the early 1970s. Though it seems to be good at financial crises, it has much improved.
It was so exciting to hear the music played by the local musicians, for me it was almost more exciting than watching the dancers, as I was a still a beginner tanguera in those days. We enjoyed some very famous orchestras that still play today - among them Color Tango and El Arranque; we danced tentatively at milongas, went to tango shows, attended workshops and met famous dancers -…

Angelina's Tango Forum

Angelina's Tango Forum
I've added a forum to this website!! It seemed like the best way to find out what you are thinking about some of the issues in tango that get people talking. Such as...
Performances at Milongas - do they bug you or are you happy to sit and watch any performance? At time of writing two of my favourite bloggers have posted on this issue.
Check out Irene and Man Yung' Green vegetables and radishes and Tango Therapist Just Let Me Dance!Tango Shoes... which ones do you find suit you the best? Do you have any recommendations for others?Tango Music and Tango DJs - are you happy to dance to anything with a beat or do you really appreciate the tango DJ who has studied tango music and learnt what works for dancers and whyAnything else you think others may help you with or find interesting???

Aussie Tango DJ hits the heights

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The tango DJ is the heart of the milonga today, so very different to the days when it was the band or orchestra that was the focus.When the music is strong and sends the dancers onto the floor tanda after tanda then you know the DJ is doing a great job.
 One of the best tango DJs in Australia is Anthony Miller from  Sydney's Tango Spirit. Anthony has only been a DJ for 5 or 6 years but he has thrown himself into the role with a passion, learning from the top DJs in Buenos Aires, acquiring top of the range equipment, and always playing a well-structured playlist. Anthony has been invited to play at Tango Festivals in Korea, and he has DJ'd for the Sydney Tango Salon Festival over the years, but his latest gig is the highest accolade. On Thursday Feb 26 he was the guest DJ at the opening of the Royal Pigall milonga in Buenos Aires with performances by Javier Rodriguez and Noelia Barsi! A high accolade indeed for a tango DJ from Australia.
And what a great way to let the Argentin…

Why do DJs play 'bad' milongas

One of the traditions that most tango DJs follow is to play just four or five milonga tandas (group of songs) a night - depending of course on the length of the night and the length of the tandas! Milonga has a fantastic energy... and can be a really enjoyable break.
So for those of us who love milonga it is really disappointing when the milonga tanda is second-rate or unexciting, or when a fabulous piece is spoiled by being sandwiched or followed by numbers that are not really milonga, such as tango-milonga or what my partner calls 'the chicken dance' (I leave that to your imagination).
As a one-time, and now frustrated DJ, here is a short list of what I think are really good tandas... you may disagree. There are many more permutations... Wherever possible I liked to keep to the one orchestra, though I know many DJs don't do this...
1) Azabache, Milonga Que Penas Canias, Todos Te Quieren - D'Agostino
2) La cicatriz, Milonga Del Recuerdo (both 1939) and La Espuela (19…

Watching others dance

One of the most engrossing things I can do when I am not dancing tango is watching videos of others dance.
Over the years I have watched heaps of these - and heaps of performances and many are ho-hum, or I just don't like the style. Tango is a very personal thing, either you like the way people dance or you don't... and that goes for everyone.
I really enjoyed this performance. The music is unusual, but very enjoyable. It's ' Milonga para un armonica' by Beltango (I have never heard them before). The performance by Mariano Chico Frumboli and Juana Sepulveda is engrossing, the transition from very tight but playful close embrace to more open and complicated manoeuvres and back again is effortless.

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How exciting. Sydney DJ Anthony Miller will be playing at this new milonga in Buenos Aires. There is sure to be a big crowd, especially with Noelia and Javier as performers, and a new milonga always draws the people. Anthony has worked very hard at DJing, studying in Buenos Aires,  ever since he joined with Jacqueline Simpson to form Tango Spirit, one of Sydney's leading tango schools. He has DJd at the Sydney Salon Tango Festival for the last 3 years, which is held at the end of September, and also overseas at Festivals in Asia.
I do hope someone takes a Youtube video!

Injuries and tango

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As one gets older one's body creaks more, but when it does more than creak and actually stops you in your tracks, you have to take notice. This has not only happened to me in the past few weeks, but also my partner, who has a different injury - we feel like a pair of old squeaky shoes! So we are both doing the sensible thing (and following my physiotherapist's advice) and resting. And one of us is doing exercises to try to get back on track sooner.
Dancers commonly have injuries. I remember when my oldest child was a studying classical ballet full time and one of the tango teachers asked him about injury. My son replied: "we all have injuries we just have to learn to cope with them and keep on dancing". Easier to do when you are young, but you can still aggravate the injury to the point where it becomes a major problem.
Ballet dancers feet commonly suffer, women more so than men. I think the same can be said for tangueras and I have had my share of foot problems, bu…

Sydney shows off tango so well

Sydney town is magical on a sunny day - even in summer! I love my home town, especially it's harbour and waterways. Yesterday I caught the ferry across the harbour under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and met up with a few tango friends at an outdoor pub near the wharf. A refreshing drink and we wandered round past the tourists cheering and squealing as they set off on a jetboat ride, past the palm trees on the plaza next to the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, almost to the esplanade in front of the Opera House. What better place to show off Sydney, and show off our Argentine tango scene...

Growing the tango dancers in our town

I am sure this is the same in other places, but in Sydney we need more tango dancers. The attrition rate is high. Many people give up when they find that after half a dozen lessons they are not competent on the dance floor; they give up because they go to a milonga and no-one asks them to dance; women give up because there are just not enough men; and life situations change. So we need a steady stream of new dancers coming through. This does not seem to be happening in Sydney - not in the way it was about 10 years ago.
It could have something to do with tango not having the magical connotations it had a decade ago, but it is still a dance that many find attractive. In Sydney we also have the problem that there are more schools and classes springing up all the time.
Overseas dancers and teachers are coming to our shores every few weeks to teach and perform. Mostly these dancers focus on intermediate and advanced dancers, they are not interested in beginners, so they are tapping into a …

10 of the Most Popular Posts for 2013

As one who has been in print media all her professional life I am always interested to know what appeals to my readers and I am delighted when you comment and let me know your point of view. Here are 10  of the most popular posts from the Blog… just in case you missed them.

In December I made the decision to wind down the website TangoAustralia and to concentrate on Angelina's Tango blog… so I added a page on finding Tango Lessons. Obviously you love it as it is the top of all the entries on the blog.

The cabeceo - I have written about this topic before and once I was quite scathing about it's use in Australia, but I have softened my opinion, and the video that appeared on FB and led to this post was illuminating.

Christmas Milongas and Christmas Prices - This is a post I wrote in 2010, but it is still very relevant. This Christmas Sydney tango dancers were once again asked to pay extra just because it's Christmas. As one who has organised milongas and events for many year…

Singer Nelly Omar dies at 102

As with most of the famous tango singers, Nelly Omar had a nickname - hers was 'Gardel in skirts'.
Born in 1911, Nelly was smitten by Carlos Gardel in 1918 and started performing in 1924. One of ten children from a very poor family, she met Gardel when he was part of a performance organised by her father. Her father died when she was young, and she went out to work to help support the family, but her love affair with tango music had begun and her career took off when she was 'discovered' by musician-composer Ignacio Corsini. She made her name, as did many of the tango musicians, performing on radio and it was the shows on Radio Belgrano with tango greats, Libertad Lamarque and Augustin Magaldi that cemented her success.
Nelly, whose birth name was Nilda Elvira Vattuone, was not as successful in her romantic life as she was in her career. Her marriage to Omar Molina last barely 2 months, but in 1937 when she met Homero Manzi, the romance led to Manzi composing songs f…