Many years ago a clever IT person thought up the Sydneytango calendar, a place where people could find classes, milongas, special events and a forum to talk about issues. This was before Facebook and it became the goto for most Sydney tango dancers, and the place where out of towners could find out what was happening on the scene in the Sydney metropolitan area.
This calendar has been kept up to date assiduously until now - almost single-handedly by one dedicated tanguera, Sima Oertli. Sima has dedicated herself to keeping dancers informed about tango in Sydney and to organising and presenting events from Festivals to workshops with some of the world's very best tango dancers.
She has presented milongas on a regular basis featuring live tango music, the only organiser who does so on a regular basis in the Sydney metropolitan area. In so doing she has introduced tango
dancers to world class musicians both locally and internationally and enriched the tango scene.
I would personall…
This year's Milongueando in Buenos Aires in August is the 9th. An encuentro (meeting) rather than a Festival in the sense of great maestros and exotic performances. The organisers Susanna Miller and Maria Plazaola state on their website that "Everyone can dance milonguero-style tango. ...we teach students to enjoy the natural movement of the body and the dialogue that takes place in harmony with one's partner".
One of the teachers at this year's festival is Horacio Julian Prestamo. For those who love the milonguero-style of tango here is a fascinating interview - and a dance performance.
The music that I love to dance to is the music of the fabulous orchestras of the Golden Age - Biagi, Calo, Canaro, Demare, D’Arienzo, Di Sarli, Troilo...but sadly many of the recordings are very scratchy and clouded by poor copying. Today’s technology allows for remastering and there are now many wonderful ‘clean’ copies of these greats sounding as they would to the Tangueros of the time when they were playing the dance halls of Buenos Aires.
Tinkering with recordings of the Golden Age by increasing the bass or changing the pitch does not improve the musical experience. Rather, as I found on the weekend at a popular milonga, it creates a thumping beat, that drowns the vocals and the melody - and gave me a thumping headache! I wasn’t the only one. When I retreated from the dance floor I found a group huddled in the foyer also escaping the DJ’s attack on the music.
Those who are new to tango (and this DJ is relatively new) sometimes find they need to increase the bass so they can follow…