Wednesday, October 11, 2006


What milonguero
extremists say
What salon
extremists say
What nuevo
extremists say
...about the
milonguero style
The only true
tango, danced from
time immemorial in
the milongas of
Buenos Aires.
All else is mere
There's nothing
like the inten-
sity, the contact
and the presence
of tango milon-
guero. Ahh...!
For the hoi-polloi.
What happens
when space is at
a premium. It
certainly isn't
elegant. They huddle
up and tip-toe
around with tiny
steps, sacrificing
the expression for
the embrace.
Doesn't anybody
hug these people
in their daily lives?
For dodderers! A
compensation for a
lack of body con-
tact. They only
like staccato mu-
sic recorded be-
fore 1930. And why
must everything
always be as in
Buenos Aires? The
tango must change
and adapt to new
times and places.
...about the
salon style
Elegant, perhaps,
but aren't they
really afraid of
touching each
other? You can do
all the figures
you need with full
contact. All they
want to do is
glide around the
hall with long
strides to drama-
tic music like
Pugliese, who is
played rather spa-
ringly in BsAs,
The tango has ne-
ver been as ele-
gant and stylish
as in the 40s.
Salon is the most
all-round and ex-
pressive of all
styles. There's
nothing like the
intensity, the
contact and the
presence of tango
salon. Ahh...!
The root of nuevo,
but they have lost
themselves in a
bygone time of
tuxedos and cigar-
ette holders. We
do all they do in
tango salon and
much more - in a
tracksuit if need
be. And there is
a lot of music
from other periods
than just the 40s.
...about the
nuevo style
exhibitionists who
kick at everything
in sight! Of no
use whatsoever for
social tango. And
they disrupt the
communication on
the pista. Also,
they only want to
dance to impossi-
ble music which
nobody in BsAs
would dance to,
like Piazzolla.
They mostly seem
to want to do aw-
kward, "inventive"
figures. "Tango
Lesson" has done
more damage than
good. Do they sec-
retly dream of be-
coming stage dan-
cers? It's too
much - we don't
need all that.
Nuevo is the next
step in a natural
process of deve-
lopment. The tango
will die unless it
grows and changes
- and there's more
than just social
tango. There's no-
thing like the in-
tensity, the con-
tact and the pre-
sence of tango
nuevo. Ahh...!

Peter writes:

Maybe it's time we open our eyes and try to see things a little differently...? Perhaps it's time to draw up a second table listing what each style could learn from other styles. I have one, but I thought I'd leave it as an exercise for the reader ...

Peter Bengtson is a composer, musician, teacher and programmer.

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