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A Few of My Favourite Things

This is an archive for links which I send out with my weekly email. It's loosely organized as Dancers and Dancing, Documentaries/Movies/Music/Media, BA Milongas and the intriguingly entitled Other...

A thought to live by, via @mountain_goats on Twitter
'dance like lots of people are watching and thinking about how you're so hot they can't even stand it and it's about to make them cry.'

Dancers and Dancing

This clip from 1992 is interesting because it's of Gustavo Naveira dancing with 11-years-old Geraldine Rojas.

Tete and Silvia again. Absolutely gorgeous. Firstly in a vals
And then in a tango

Anna and Osvaldo dancing canyengue in the street.

Tete and Silvia dancing a vals

Here are Davina and Jeff dancing it up in a New Plymouth coffee house.
and the team made front page news!

Here's a clip from Janis Kenyon’s site of one of her friends, Marcelo Socoloski. I think it's interesting for a number of reasons including as another perspective of a normal Milonga, of how he moves between open and close embrace, and the wide variety of moves that he leads. He's quite a groover!

Ricardo Vidort and Myriam Pincen. What is most interesting to me is what and when audience applauds.

And here's Ricardo Vidort with Liz Haight dancing to Poema by Canaro. Very niiiiice.

Malena Rodriguez with Apolo

Alfredo Alonso y Malena Rodriguez

A couple of links of Tete dancing vals
With Gladys Fernandez

And with Sylvia Ceriani

Raul Cabral and Agape Pappas. Just lovely. I watched a couple of Agape with other leaders and she doesn't look as good with them. It seems to me that Raul is so smooth and positive (and un-choreographed) that she gets to relax whereas with the others...hmmm...

Tango CANYENGUE - ROXINA Villegas & ADRIAN Griffero

This is all choreo (ie the amount of lead/follow is minimal) but it sure is fun! Ariadna Naveira & Fernando Sanchez - Tango Malevaje Festival 2012: 

Jorge Lladò y Mirta Tiseyra, a great song and lots of drive!

Mirta Tiseyra again, with Ricardo Viqueira

Tete and Sivia, just great.

Tete and Silvia

An interview with the tango legend Petroleo via Janis Kenyon

A pretty cool clip of Rafael Barone and Lili Khayatt

Coco leading a milonga after hip surgery!

Here's some footage of Pedro Sanchez dancing on a tile.

Here are two links to a fascinating interview with Ricardo Vidort, one of the legends. There are links to videos of him further down this section

The annual tango contest has been running in BA over the past week. Here's some interesting comment by Janis Kenyon on the judging politics and how it contributes to the cookie-cutter nature of the dancing.

Here's an article found via TangoCherie on the impact of tourism on traditional tango in BA.

There’s ongoing confusion over the use of the phrase Milonguero Style versus close-hold dancing. Here’s a blog by Melina Sedó that tries to clarify a few things.

Here's the often sardonic Deby Novak, an American living in BA, on the 5 stages of tango

Here's the impressively smooth Beto Ayala and Amanda Lucero

And here are a few well-placed words from Janis Kenyon on the topic of traveling teachers and social dancing

One of my favorite sayings is by Ricardo Vidort:
"When you dance tango you must give everything. If you can't do that, do not dance."

The text descriptions sometimes conflict with the demos on this teaching site but their demos are pretty cool. Rusty Cline and Joanne Canalli of Tucson

Here's a clip of the very, very cool Oscar Casas and Ana Miguel

Here are two clips of Alfredo Alonso and Silvia that are well worth a look

Andrea reminded me of this link to the excellent Tango and Chaos site, it's Ricardo Vidort and Osvaldo dancing with each other. Ricardo is gone now so it's great to have this video of them both. They both lead and follow very well.

Here are Tete y Silvia dancing a vals. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Timely advice from Janis Kenyon

Here's Ricardo Suarez again, 89 years old and dancing great!

And here is Ricardo Viqueira y Valérie Lafore

Ricardo Suarez at 87, dancing to Tango Negro by Caceres. What a cool guy!

And here's how ladies can avoid the Planchadora Effect

Another video of one of the milongueros, Horacio Prestamo, courtesy of Janis Kenyon

Here's another link from Janis Kenyon of a number of famous milongueros performing together. I find her comments on it very interesting.

Here's an interesting post from Janis Kenyon which contains a number of interesting links.

Here's a tribute to one of the legends who died 5 years ago, Ricardo Vidort, by one of his friends Oscar Casas. Oscar is also a very cool dancer, check him out on youtube.

via Tango Cherie, another article on Ideal in BA, this time talking about its history and with video of the day that the roof fell in, 2008!

From Janis Kenyon's website, Miguel Angel Balbi

Julio Balmaceda and Corina de la Rosa from CITA 2005

Here's an interesting clip from Janis Kenyon of another of her friends, Antonio Busto

Another Analia and Marcelo clip, this time to 'Tu...el Cielo Tu' , one of my favorites.

Also, an interesting clip showing a few big names including Julio Duplaá, and Osvaldo y Coca Cartery

Here are two very cool blogs by Tango Cherie

Here's a cool link from Janis Kenyon on the history of tango

And here's a pretty snappy dance from Los Totis, Virginia Gomez and Christian Marquez. It's not all lead/follow but it looks great!

This is a profile of Ricardo Vidort one of the masters who died a few years ago.
This is the site that it came from, Tango and Chaos, a labour of love by Rick McGarrey. He often has rose-tinted spectacles in his articles but you can never doubt his love for what he's doing.

Here's a very funny link showing Jose Garofalo, who runs the milonga Porteno y Bailarin in BA, dancing with Veronica Alvarenga. I think all leaders can relate to Veronica's situation!

Here's my favourite video clip. Two of my favourite dancers and one of my favourite songs in one tidy package. Analia Vega and Marcelo Varela dancing to Biagi's 'El Recordo'

Here's a link to Cherie Magnus (Tango Cherie) and her partner Ruben. It really makes me smile and cuts through a lot of over-intellectualising about tango.  There is no time for Cherie to 'interpret' or 'move herself' because this is fabulous music with drive. They are one body with four legs, with a leader and a follower, and they move utterly as the music drives them.

Some thoughts on dance style and lifestyle from Tango Cherie

Ricardo Ponce ("El Chino Perico")
I think that this is just great!


Documentary on the famous El Corte milonga in Nijmegan

Here is a 24/7 Tango radio, no ads/news at all, just pure tango music: milonga, waltz, tango electronico / nuevo etc

The TangoVia music recovery project is bearing fruit...

And here is a weekly tango newspaper

More research showing tango is a cure for...just about everything!

A fascinating read about the life of bandoneonista Manuel Pizzarro

A clip of excerpts from interviews with Osvaldo Pugliese

Orquesta de Tango El Cachivache at Salon Caning Buenos Aires. Stirring stuff!

Ricardo Vidort's final interview from 2006

Here's a very cool interview with Miguel Angel Balbi from 2000

Melina Sedó provided this thought provoking post about womens' body shapes and tango
Melina's post led to some Facebook discussion and the posting of this clip from a documentary showing interviews with 5 well known tango couples answering a series of questions, such as:
- Why do you ask people to dance?
- What makes a dance good for you?
Some of the answers are very guarded, some are surprising and some are just disappointing. All one can say is that at least Sebastian Arce was honest. Shame about that. Part 1 of the documentary Part 2 of the documentary
Finally, Melina's comment about tango being like a large family, at least in Europe, got me started on a post about differences between common perceptions of tango in BA versus my experience there.

Paciencia by D'Arienzo, with subtitles

Emilio sent this link in to a rather handy website that has links to dance and recital videos

This is a very good music site with other great links off it.

Tubatangos! And cayengue!

Let’s have a collective “Awwwww...” on this one. It’s rather sweet.

A little bit of blasphemy and some advice for travellers to BA

And from the same blog, an interesting read about dancing with teachers

Tete- One of my favourite clips, about Tete. He was a dance legend who died a couple of years ago and I always enjoyed watching him dance.

This 50-minute Italian documentary would be even better if my Spanish or Italian was...but some of the dancing is brilliant. Featuring El Flaco Dany, Nene, Ricardo Suarez...

A new movie featuring tango and Chicho, Tango Libre

Here's a link that I find really interesting from a historical perspective: ‘Bailarines de tango 1940-1980 Bs As (part 1)’
There are some very big names from tango's history, here, and while one can read a great deal on the web about the legends of the past it's difficult to reconcile what one reads with videos such as this and others. Their audiences are very impressed and they appear to be very good for their time. But now? Not so much.
It's a reminder, I think, to dance your best for your partner and for yourself and try not to worry too much about who is watching.

Here’s a link to a video of the NZ Tango Festival produced by The Fabulous Debbie Monigatti (formerly of Welli but has just moved to Auckland...sigh) and her partner in crime, Frank from Christchurch.

El Ultimo Bandoneon- a full length movie in Spanish- Marina Gayotos makes a living playing the bandoneon on buses and at various pick-up gigs. When she auditions for the tango master Rodolfo Mederos, he informs her that though she has talent, her bandoneon is too far gone to play. But if she can find a better bandoneon, she can play in his tango orchestra. This leads Marina to go on a quest for another instrument, one that takes her to instrument makers, dancers and an array of memorable characters from the tango world, all while searching for "the last bandoneón."
And heres a short clip from it, with more linked off it

Here's a link via TangoCherie to the BA Podcast site. You can listen to these podcasts in your browser if you don't have a player. The especially interesting podcasts are about tango dance, tango music and (still to come) tango lyrics.
The podcasts are bilingual ie the Spanish is not translated but there is still enough English content to be really interesting.

This is a link to the Radio NZ Spectrum programme about tango in Wellington from September 2006.

Here's an article from Kapka Kassabove, formerly of Auckland, on her new tango book. It's posted on the website of Mary Jaksch, also a writer and tango dancer from Nelson.
Memoir Gets its Own Back: Kapka Kassabova on how an Idea Morphed into a Published Book.

Tango Ideal- this video from 2001 kept me awake night after night before my first trip to BA 2004, but when I returned I wasn't as impressed. My experience was soooooo much better than I expected from the video!

Here are two links published on the Tango Dancers group on Facebook:
Tango Playlists- songs and playlist suggestions
Tango Lyrics

Here's an really interesting 26 minute interview with Helen (La Vikinga) who runs Queer Tango milongas in Buenos Aires. Among the highlights:
–advice every foreign woman should bear in mind when she comes to Buenos Aires with hopes of tango bliss
–why women dancers should say no to dance offers from men more often
–why more women are taking up leading worldwide

Here’s a BBC article on tango in Finland

BA Milonga Clips

These are not amazing videos but show everyday Buenos Aires milongas where you could be dancing on your next visit. Check them out for an idea of what to expect in terms of dance floor numbers and the standard of dancers.

Continuing the typical milonga series, the Atlanta Milonga in BA

General dancing at La Milonguita

Another typical milonga, this time El Pial

This is another typical Milonga in the barrio (suburb) of Flores. For people who are new to these 'typical milonga' clips, points to note are the bright fluorescent lights (to make cabaceo easier, rather than ‘mood lighting’ which doesn’t), the standard of dancing (not dissimilar to here in Welli), the dress code (or lack thereof), women leading...
Our first trip to BA was quite an eye-opener because much of what I had heard and read was very different to what we experienced there. That's why it's important for tango dancers to travel there at least once, and to travel and dance in other countries and cities than their own.

And here's another milonga at Palacio Barolo

Milonga del Moran-


Here's a clip of one of the most popular milongas in BA, it's Porteño y Bailarin. -

And here's a link to one of my favorite milonga venues, Salon Canning in Buenos Aires. It has one of the few parquet floors in town but as you can see from the video its getting a bit thrashed.-


Venue at Independencia 572-

Here's a link of the Yira Yira milonga, held at the La Nacional venue-

La Baldosa-

And here is the open air milonga at La Glorieta, a marble-floored band rotunda in BA-

A view of the A Puro Tango milonga held at Salon Canning-


This is a mountainbike site but the approach to learning described here is the same that we used ie working on basics, and writing up our lessons afterwards as a means of committing it to memory. 
Most people don't write down their lessons and what we've noticed over the years is that usually the lessons melt away within hours or days. 

An italian tourist in Buenos Aires because of the Tango World Championship meets a classic argentinian tanguero: in their embrace two worlds and epochs confront each other...

Here's a disturbing video of a bearded man in a blonde wig talking about S**t tangueras say..

I often come across comments by people that 'tango needs to move forward into the 21st century, not stay rooted in the past'. People who say this often haven't learned to dance tango very well.
Then they do something about it. 
And put it on YouTube...not always with the best results.
This is at the Tango Loft in Berlin.

Here's an update on the costs of things in BA recently. It's based on $US.

Kind of terms of the annual Wellington Moulin Rouge Milonga...

This is really important. It's a fundraiser for a group that's creating a digital tango archive.

It's not tango but it's a lot of fun, Rita Hayworth Stayin' Alive!

Here's a very heartwarming short video about a 92 year old tap dancer

It's not tango but this breakdance clip is worth watching for a few minutes! (It's quite long)

This is a fascinating interview with an improv musician which among a range of topics discusses how jazz musicians approach improv, in a way that is very similar to tango. No-one really wants to dance the basic 8 all night, right...?

I believe that dancers are responsible for their own development and they should be constantly looking for better teachers. This means that generally everyone has to 'kiss a lot of frogs before they find their prince', however the journey is all part of it, right? BUT I think it's beneficial when one is starting out in tango if some of the 'froggier' options are identified, so that newbies are aware that....... just because they want your money doesn't mean that they know more than you!
Anyway, a friend in another country asked my opinion on this particular link, so here for your amusement and edification are ...James and Joanna!
It's really quite something but my favorite bit is the music used for the demos!

Here's a link to a motivational video by Will Smith. His approach to life can be emulated by everyone in everything including..learning to dance better! "If you went out to build a wall it would seem impossible, but if you place one brick perfectly next to another brick then you build a brick wall almost without realising it."
I also liked "If you are not helping other people then you are wasting your life."


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I recently got drawn into a tango blog discussion as to whether a tango demo was a video or not. They said it was improv, I disagreed, and suddenly I was called upon to justify my view with evidence and tempers were starting to flare. A bit of an over-reaction but that's the world of tango blogs for you. People care about this stuff. A lot.

Rather than publish it there I thought that I'd publish my beginners guide here, instead.

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