State of tango

 Rainy October Sunday in Sydney - perfect time to take a trip around the tango blogs and youtube channels and see what others are doing - if anything? Today we might have gone to a late afternoon milonga in before COVID. Of course I found a few closed down with 404 messages, and many who, like me had not posted for some time. But I also found others who were keeping their blogs up to date and whose calendars were offering tango lessons - and even milongas, as in Auckland Tango in NZ.   Many teachers have gone online and are offering tango classes on Youtube and by subscription. Some blogs have continued to talk about all things tango such as Bautanz  and Tango Salon Adelaide ; some have such a long history it is fascinating to go back and read some of their older pasts, such as Irene and Man Yung's tango blog , and others have stayed online without posting but are so packed with information they are still a great read - Tango and Chaos in Buenos Aires  or Christine Denniston's

Coronavirus pandemic and tango

Tango is by nature a couple dance - close embrace, open embrace - the embrace is fundamental. This means touching and being close to another person, something we are being advised against. Hand washing and good personal hygiene have always been essential to healthy tango but never more so than now. Today WHO  declared Coronavirus or Covid 19, a pandemic. Times will be tough for tango dancers and organisers. Dancers are likely to be in financial strife but milonga organisers and tango teachers are unlikely to be reimbursed by any government financial stimulus packages and will join other industries and services who will have to cope with limited or no income. Should this pandemic continue for months it is likely that some schools will not survive - and some events will not return. The organisers of festivals are likely to suffer the most. There will be no reimbursements from venues for cancellations, air fares for visiting teachers/Djs will not be refunded (airlines don't do ref

Who came to Australia in 2019

2019 was a busy tango... here is a list of who came our way... The first visitors, Nick Jones and Diana Cruz , arrived in February and toured the country culminating with a production with Cadencia in Sydney in March. Adrian Romeo Ferreyra  arrived in Sydney in March. Lorena Ermocida and Pablo Martinez  returned to Sydney in May. In the same month Anabella Diaz Hojman returned with Donato Juarez July saw Beto Barsellini and Liz Doran in Sydney. The following month Cecilia Gonzalez began her tour of the country in Sydney Andres Laza Moreno and Eladia Cordoba visited Sydney in July, while  Maximiliano Cristiani and Karina Colmeiro were hosted in Melbourne Janna Lopez and Claudio Peralta spent September and October in Sydney.  Alejandro Larena s and Marison Morales with Rodrigo Palacios  will return with his partner  Agustina Berenstein   and Iris Basak Dogdu spent a weekend in Sydney in October. Dante Sanchez and Indira Hiayes (pictured) visited Sydney, Perth and Byron Bay in O

Vale Julio Balmaceda

The tango world is shocked by the recent death on November 16 of popular maestro Julio Balmaceda at the very young age of 54. Many Australian dancers will remember Julio's visits in 2013 for the Sydney Tango Festival with Corina de la Rosa and in 2015 for the Essence and Evolution Festival with Virginia Vasconi. Others will remember him as one of their teachers in Buenos Aires - for many he was a friend as much as an amazing dancer.  Julio was taught to tango by his father, the legendery Miguel Balmaceda, and for many years he accompanied and assisted him in tango practices. After his father’s death in 1991, Julio took over the classes attango schools in Buenos Aires: Canning, Grisel, El Parakultural, Almagro, and La galleria del tango. Julio was known internationally and at home for his naturalness, quality and musicality that made his dance and his walk synonymous with tango.  Some of the highlights of his career are - performing in the 1998 Broadway production of &#

Evaristo Carriego

A beautiful version played by a very talented Australian group, the Mendoza Tango Quartet, based in Brisbane. I love that the piano is a Beale, Australian pianos made here until 1975. This absolutely one of the best tangos for simply immersing oneself in!

There's a big change afoot in Sydney Tango

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 ORQUESTA LA LUNA dancers to world class musicians both locally and internationally and enriched the tan

Quality tango DJing

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 follo