Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Fresh Air of Renovation

by Alberto Paz
Copyright (c) 2000, Planet Tango. All Rights Reserved

Recently a film crew of RAI, the Italian Television Network was in Buenos Aires to interview Diego Maradona, the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and Mora Godoy. Soccer, politics and Tango are some of the main ingredients that make Buenos Aires the undisputed Emotion Capital of the World.

Mora and brother Horacio Godoy taught at the 1997 Stanford Tango Week. We ran an exclusive interview with Mora in the June '97 issue of El Firulete. Ever since, the Godoys have been doing what they love and do best, living a full life of Tango. This month, Mora is opening a "space for Tango." Mora's Place (our guess for a name) is a project that had been brewing for a couple of years. It brings closure to a sense of loss that Mora felt when she began to dance Tango and sensed the reticence of some selfish "maestros" to give a complete set of information as opposed to cutting corners and keeping vital information close to their chests.

Mora Godoy is an exclusive artist of cable TV Channel Solo Tango. She has been seen in the series Asi se baila el Tango with Osvaldo Zotto and she hosts a segment called La Yeca (a reversed syllabe slang for calle, the street) where she takes to the streets of Buenos Aires to talk to people about Tango. She has been a member of Tango x 2 with Osvaldo Zotto and performed in London, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Paris, Milan, Rome, Athens, Tokyo, Osaka, Mexico, Madrid and Hong Kong.

She is a graduate of the Superior Institute of Art of the Teatro Colon. Her Tango career was guided by the teachings of Pepito Avellaneda, Antonio Todaro, Miguel Angel Zotto and Graciela Gonzalez.

In her new "space" Mora hopes to offer classes by a wide variety of teachers, to have a place to rehearse and develop her creativity in the area of choreography. Any group, small or large, local or foreign will be welcomed to use the facilities, to request specific curriculums and choose the teachers they wish to study with. Mora has made a commitment to provide complete information of everything that is happening in the Tango scene worldwide and to have music, videos and Tango attire for sale at accessible prices.

Along the way Mora and Horacio have been very busy. She has been a guest performer at the functions offered by Teatro Cervantes featuring the Juan de Dios Filiberto Orchestra. She has danced Tango at the most characteristic spots of Buenos Aires for Telefe Network's international micro programs. Her classes at Club Almagro with brother Horacio assisting have set records of attendance topping 140 persons per class. In November/December '97, she choreographed and performed at Sr. Tango's late night show and the company's tour of Brazil and Uruguay.

The explosion of the Tango dance has shaken the political and corporate worlds, and the Show of Mora Godoy has been one of the preferred party themes at the most important political and corporate conventions in Buenos Aires.

At age 26 Horacio Godoy is riding high in popularity as the host of La Estrella, a favorite milonga regularly attended by 500-600 persons, and as a top rated DJ at Club Almagro, another popular night spot on the Buenos Aires Tango scene. Prior to that he has worked in some of the most famous and well known Tango places, such as Club Sunderland, Salon Gricel, Salon La Argentina and Club Juvenil.

Horacio studied Tango on the dance floor with the milongueros from different neighborhood clubs and his solid technique reflects that. He has had the benefit of further studies with Miguel Angel and Osvaldo Zotto, Graciela Gonzalez and Julio Balmaceda. He is part of sister Mora Godoy' teaching staff at Club Almagro and as a teacher he has given seminars in Buenos Aires, Rosario, La Plata and other important Argentine cities as well as having been a faculty member of the 1997 Stanford Tango Week.

He has danced in a film by famous Argentine classical dancer Maximiliano Guerra and also has performed on different stages with Mora. Recently he participated in a festival in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Without a doubt, there is a change of guard happening right now on the Tango scene. This is right on schedule with the 40 year stages that the Tango seems to take to renovate itself. Jose Gobello, president of the Academia Porteña del Lunfardo has written in El Tangauta that as the porteño changes so does the Tango. And that seems to happen every 40 years. It started with 40 years of the Tango of Villoldo, cocky, impish, joyful and lackadaisical; it continued with the 40 years of the Tango of Contursi, nostalgic, sentimental, emotional; it was followed by the 40 years of the Tango of the megalopolis, of the hippies and the yuppies, created by Piazzolla

The current renovation has began. The Tango dance rules again and it is bringing about the onset of the new guard, perhaps as Gobello calls it, the Tango of the Zapping, replacing the clavel en la oreja with pierced earlobes.

Mora says that the dance proposes an encounter, the chance of communication, the benefit of enjoyment and the setting aside of the daily stress that life in the big city puts into our lives. La milonga is a world of its own where everything seems to come to a halt and time becomes an embrace that becomes dance.

Both, Mora and Horacio, believe it is important that people enjoy themselves while they are "consuming" Tango, because it is something authentic and endless, a viral infection for which there is no cure. A truth that always exists in the embrace.

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