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Wednesday, 30 November 2022


Amongst the countless tango performances available on the internet, we may enjoy the musicality, admire the technique and marvel at the spectacle.  Yet, few performances truly move me deeply.  

We all know, of course, that Noelia and Carlitos are wonderful dancers.  Yet, what is it about this particular performance in Bratislava to "Lo vi en tus ojos" which has so much soul?

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

The hidden codes of the milonga

Do you avoid busy dancefloors?  Are you unsure how to protect your partner?  How do you negotiate a busy dance-floor without disturbing other dancers? 

Navigation is a higher order skill for the male role in tango.  There's no doubt about it.  But get it right and the effect on your milonga experience will be profound.  You'll move with care and confidence, flowing with the dancers around you.  Your partner will place her trust in you and relax in your embrace.  

Here are some "hidden" tips from Royce's Tango Thoughts which can make all the difference.  Take a look at this video which illustrates many of these tips.


Sunday, 31 January 2021

Cabeceo - the basics

We've written lots about the cabeceo: how to, pitfalls to avoid, special tips, funny situations, etc.  But if you want a handy summary on this elegant technique for invitation in tango, just take a look at The Beginner's Guide to Cabeceo by Tango Immigrant.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Who was Elvino VARDARO?

"... there was no other violin player like him."

By age 14, Vardaro was playing violin to silent movies and had met Rodolfo Biagi.  At age 17 he was invited to join Juan Maglio's orchestra, followed next year by joining Roberto Firpo.  Then at age 21, in 1922, he joined Pedro Maffia, where he played with Osvaldo Pugliese.

1929 - 1931: The Vardaro-Pugliese Sextet had formed with other prominent musicians, but in 1933 Pugliese left, and Vardaro formed a new sextet that included the 18 year old Aníbal Troilo.  Teh sextet was popular in cafes, cabarets and radio.  In 1938 he briefly payed with Lucio Demare, and in 1942 joined Osvaldo Fresedo's  orchestra where he played for several years.

During 1955- 1961, he alternated playing in the Astor Piazzolla and Carlos Di Sarli orchestras.

Yet, despite a pedigree like this, his sextet made only one test record - Tigre viejo, with the RCA Victor recording company in 1933.  It was deemed of little commercial value (looks like he was ahead of his time), so the disc was given to a member of the sextet.  Eventually his family preserved it in olive oil!  Much later it was cleaned up with Vaseline, and that's what you can listen to below.  Sadly, his sextet did not record any other music.

Michael Lavocah wrote "Tigre viejo is the closest thing to jazz that tango has to offer: six men playing on the edge of their seats, and just about keeping the whole thing on the rails."  See what you think:

The arrangement is quite experimental.  Remember, it was recorded in 1933!  Early in the piece, the sounds of a later Pugliese can be heard (although he was no longer in the sextet for the recording), and later you may pick up elements of Troilo.  Certainly quite jazzy in places.


For more information on Elvino Vardaro:

Monday, 25 May 2020


When I watch some male dancers, particularly some older ones, the term 'rock-solid' often comes to mind.  They seem to be absolutely grounded, totally in control of their bodies, and always with a strong axis.  As a result, their partners appear secure and in doubt where they are going - the leads are clear, signalled in time to allow an accurate, beautiful response, and the couple dance as one.

Watch José Luis Gonzalez.  What are the skills that make him appear rock-solid?

Now watch Luis Anchava

... and Gabriel Missé
Here are some common features with all three men:
  • Posture exudes strength & stability
  • Body moves first and advances strongly
  • They quickly establish a new axis whenever they step or execute a turn
  • They abide by the principle: 'I lead, she responds, I follow her'
  • Calmness throughout
Do you agree? 
Perhaps there are other things that you notice.  If so, comment below.
... and that's quite apart from the magnificent women they are dancing with!


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