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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Dancing as equals

While chatting with a local lady in El Arranque (a milonga in BsAs) about the nature of ‘connection’ in tango, she said that “the man and woman need to dance as equals if they are to truly achieve connection in tango.”

This made me examine my mentality when I dance with ladies whose skills and experience vary greatly. For example, many of the women with whom I dance at milongas in my home city, are those that I have taught or currently teach - including beginners. Elsewhere, including in BsAs, I have danced with some women who force me to work hard to simply maintain my axis, and with others who are acclaimed ‘maestras’.

The question I had to ask myself was: "How can we dance as equals?" For me, it's about how I approach the relationship with the woman I'm going to dance with. If there's any thought, for example, of superiority on my part or inferiority on hers, then the relationship we are seeking is doomed from the start, and there’ll be no chance of that elusive connection in our tango. If I have any feeling of anxiety or intimidation when I dance with women who are clearly more experienced and skilled than me, then I won’t experience connection with them in the embrace.

And this is what I found in BsAs - the women I danced with love tango. Some sang in my ear. We danced for each other - there was nothing in our brief relationships that suggested anything but equality. We used all of our skills to bring the music into our dance, and we brought ourselves confidently into a collaborative relationship. I felt we were dancing as equals – and that’s the only way tango can be danced, in my opinion.

There is no reason why this mentality can’t prevail wherever I dance tango – but it needs to be shared – the women need to feel this way too: they need to feel self-confident and they need to trust.


Monday, 20 December 2010

Less is more

Just found this superb video of María Inés Bogado y Sebastian Jiménez, the current Tango Salón champions performing in Valencia (Spain). There is so much that can be learned from this recording of just 3 minutes! Their musicality is brilliant, with clever changes of dynamic executed with total control and excellent technique. The connection is utterly palpable. A brilliant performance where colgadas, volcadas, ganchos etc., fashionable in some tango circles, would have been totally superfluous.

So what can be learned by ‘mere tango mortals’ which could be of any use to dancing socially in the milonga from this outstanding performance? Many things, I think.

But let me focus on only her footwork. Why? Because it’s perfect for dancing in a crowded milonga, and it is simply beautiful! So many ladies in tango frantically try to execute adornos (decorations) as a way to express themselves, often to the detriment of their partner, the music, the dancers around them, let alone their own elegance. I’ve expressed my views on this topic in the past.

Interestingly, María Inés dances with few explicit adornos, and they are done with understatement and sensuality. Yet who could say that her footwork is not exquisite and utterly mesmerising? I simply wish that ladies wanting to add a little spice to their social dancing, would focus more on walking elegantly and using their feet beautifully.


Friday, 10 December 2010

What a difference a singer can make

Whenever anyone asks me which tango orchestra a prefer, all I can ever say is "It depends on my mood". Moods are governed by emotions, and music reflects, affects, or should I say, manipulates our emotions. In his Tango & Chaos website, Rick McGarrey illustrates this beautifully using Una emocion as an example. He also adds an interesting, perhaps controversial, observation about Pablo Veron's interpretation when he dances this tango with Geraldine Rojas during the credits of the film Assassination Tango.

Enrique Campos, who sings this piece with the orchestra of Ricardo Tanturi, seemed to change the mood of Tanturi's tangos when he joined the orchestra in 1943. Despite the strong rhythmic elements, there is an overwhelming romantic, softer, more introspective feel about them.

Whereas his predecessor, Alberto Castillo, with his extrovert style, appeared to bring out the more energetic side of the musicians. I love dancing to his Pocas palabras.

Perhaps the musicians affected the singer rather than vice versa. Or perhaps it was simply a popular style at the time. I'm not sure. I'd love to know the answer. Of one thing I am certain, and that is that they create different moods and demand a different response from the dancer.

Jennifer and Ney performing to another punchy Castillo favourite La vida es corta provide a stark contrast to Regina and Martin's romantic interpretation of the nostalgic En el salon, with Campos.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Making every moment count

I know it sounds clichéd, but the most memorable dances I’ve had were when both my partner and I felt completely in tune with the music and with each other. The selection of music was just right. We trusted each other enough to mutually surrender to its moods and cadences. The figures we danced were of no consequence - often quite simple. It felt like the music was channeling through our close embrace and directing us. Each step we took counted. We danced in the moment. Sounds sort of Zen, doesn’t it!

My plea to tango dancers: Listen to the music, trust it and allow it to transport you! Only then will it be possible to dance in the moment.

Here are some inspirational dancers making every step count:

Melina & Detlef

Juan Esquivel & Thomasina

Osvaldo & Coca

Tete & Silvia

Adela & Santiago (thanks to Tango commuter)

There are many more, of course.


Sunday, 31 October 2010

Buenos Aires milongas – life as a single.

Our recent stay in Buenos Aires led me to reflect much more on the milonga experience, particularly to compare the “singles” and “couples/groups” milongas.

When a couple enters a predominantly ‘singles’ milonga in Buenos Aires, they are usually placed in a back corner and become invisible. Tango in BsAs for me is, despite visiting with my partner, largely about dancing as a single – then the full essence of tango has a chance of being experienced.

It’s not about the figures and the display on the dance-floor; it’s about people and about tango music, and how they can achieve a connection. It’s about social communion and an expression of the temporary relationship with our partner through the music & dance.

The milonga is a unique socio-cultural experience that begins with entering the salon. As a foreigner, it’s more difficult to be accepted, but you need to enter believing that you belong there, and it needs so show – it’s confidence, not presumptuousness or arrogance. I always accept that I am a guest in their milongas and I am going to respect that by adhering strictly to their codes.

It helps to get to know the organizers – more easily done by regularly attending the same milongas each week (rather than a trying to sample too many) and expressing thanks for the efforts which the organisers put into staging each milonga – and it is a huge effort & increasingly expensive to stage. Developing a relationship with the organisers does help in being seated favourably in the milonga – which means having good visual access to potential partners.

The use of the cabeceo is non-negotiable in reputable milongas. For someone new to a milonga, it can be hard work – particularly getting that first dance. However, once others have seen the quality of your dancing & musicality - and your observation of the codes - it becomes a little easier (for leaders, good line-of-dance is essential; for both leaders & followers, dancing in the considerate and understated style of the locals is admired). Getting a dance with the best & most popular dancers in the milonga takes persistence, and may require several visits to that milonga to achieve. But that’s part of the challenge of dancing as a single – the unknown.

A defining moment always comes when taking up the embrace. It tells your partner a lot about your technique, your confidence, your physical connection …. and that creates a mentality that can underpin the whole tanda; the very first step is also significant in communicating who you are and how you will relate to your partner– it needs to exude certainty ….. and for a leader, masculinity, …… for the follower, responsiveness.

During the dance, the music permeates the body and the bodies communicate constantly. We are dancing for each other, not putting on a show for those watching. This suggests that while we should make an effort to be well groomed for our partners, the concept of beautiful/handsome is irrelevant.

It follows that we become different dancers with different partners – different interpretations of the music (by both leader & follower), different emotions expressed to our partners through the dance, quite apart from the variations in embrace, timing, and technique that we feel.

The attraction of returning to the same milonga includes the anticipation of dancing with some of the same partners, knowing what to expect on the next encounter, knowing what to build on to further enhance the connection …. with that person and with the music. It’s a creative and personal pursuit.

The greatest compliment for a foreigner at a milonga is for an old milonguero or milonguera to say, “you dance like one of us”. The glow lasts well past that evening!

Have you experienced “singles” milongas in Buenos Aires? What was it like for you?


Saturday, 16 October 2010

Men making an effort

We women often enjoy the opportunity to dress up a little, take a bit more care with the hair and make-up. The milonga is just the sort of occasion where we like to look and feel more elegant. Making that effort can do wonders for a lady's confidence.

Could the same apply to men? Does taking trouble with one's appearance and personal hygiene matter? Is it my imagination that the men at milongas wearing a nice shirt and trousers, a jacket, or even a suit, look ... shall I say, more manly? Do they, perhaps, conduct themselves more confidently? I am curious to know how men feel about this?

Of course, ladies appreciate considerate dance partners. I think I am speaking not only for myself, when I say that we also value gentlemen who respect the initimacy of the tango embrace by making an effort to present themselves well for the occasion.

Ladies, here's a word of warning based on research in male washrooms by a male colleague in BsAs. Regardless of the appearance of your dance partner, washing your hands (especially your right hand!) before eating is strongly advised.


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sebastian y María Ines en La Baldosa

At La Baldosa, one of our favourite "couples" milongas, we were fortunate to see the newly crowned champions of Tango Salón dance four pieces for the crowd. Suffice to say that the 18 year old Sebastian and 29 year old María Ines are deserving title-holders.

The romantic Di Sarli tango was followed by an energetic tango by D'Arienzo, a Caló vals and after rousing applause, a Canaro milonga.

What a treat!


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Milongueando en Buenos Aires

Four weeks in the Mecca of tango are drawing to a rapid close and the farewells to friends (old and new) are almost complete.

Attending milongas almost each evening, mostly as singles, caused me to reflect on the milonga experience. One thing that stands out is that it´s not only about the dance. For me, the milonga package is much more. Certainly most of us are there to dance, but those who make the most of it also use the milonga as an opportunity to socialise, be transported by great music, relax and observe.

After dancing an especially satisfying tanda, I find myself preferring to come back down to Earth gently, rather than looking out for an invitation to dance again right away. So, watching the dancers on the floor is a good way to signal that I want to sit out the tanda.

If my attention is drawn to any particular dancers, it´s usually because their movement is an expression of the emotion contained in the music. Their connection seems both physical and intuitive. At the same time there is an utmost consideration for the dancers around them. From all this flows a spontaneous creativity and satisfaction which only the couple themselves can fully appreciate.

Finally, how wonderful it is to experience the harmony of movement and energy when all the dancers on the floor are on the same wave-length!

PP (in BsAs)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Decorations - a contradiction in terms

Recently it dawned on me that decorations, adornos, embellishments (call them what you will) could well be considered a contradiction in terms - unless executed for a tango performance.

Under most circumstances in life, a decoration is an external embellishment. Yet an adorno in social tango comes from within and remains within the embrace. It's not primarily for the viewing public. It is a spontaneous expression of the emotion of the music. It does not disturb our partner. It isn't calculated or premeditated. However, sound technique and control underpin any elegant adornment.

What is a decoration in social tango? To me it begins with the way in which dancers (male or female) use their feet when taking a step.

For anyone interested in this topic, I recommend very highly the articles by Olga Besio and Milena Plebs (in Spanish & English).


Friday, 9 July 2010

Milongueros in action

I’m delighted! At last, I’ve found a series of Youtube videos featuring milongueros of Buenos Aires doing what they love – not performing, but dancing socially in the milonga.

That’s when they’re at their best: feeling the music, dancing with real connection to their partner; dancing with and for her, and at the same time, showing the utmost consideration for dancers around them.

They keep their partner safe in their embrace, allowing her to relax and respond calmly & intuitively. You can see the look of serenity, almost meditation, on the faces of the women in these videos. Tangopilgrim hit the nail on the head, when quoting his teacher: The most important dance is the one that happens inside us.

Don’t do anything, unless you feel you have to. And do anything that you feel you have to do. (Tangopilgrim)
These milongueros and their partners are dancing in the moment. They are both being carried by the demands of the music and all its rhythmic variations, and savouring each second.

Thanks, Irene and Man Yung (video above) and Jantango , for recording and posting these gems on your sites.


Tuesday, 29 June 2010

El abrazo

“I want to dance tango” is heard often from newcomers, and “I want to dance tango well” from those already dancing. My (no-nonsense) response: “you’ll need to work hard on your axis, posture, embrace, and tango walk before anything else can happen."

So why the constant reminders about the embrace in class? - in fact, some will say tango IS the embrace. Well, the embrace is the physical point of connection between the man and the woman. It is the channel of communication as the man suggests (leads), the woman responds (follows) and the man follows the woman. Hence, they dance together, rather than two separate entities; communication - some might say energy – flows back & forth between the two.

So what can interrupt the flow? From a physical point of view, one of the main sources of trouble is the man’s left and the woman’s right arms. If the man pushes & pulls, his partner is taken off her axis and the lead becomes confused. If her right arm flexes, she’ll be ‘absorbing’ the lead rather than her body moving with it. After all, the lead comes from the man’s upper torso, to be responded to by the woman’s body. Nothing should get in the way of that – including cognitive pursuits like trying to remember learned patterns, studying the man’s chest for movement, or peeking at each other’s feet for cues. We need to be fully present for our partner and the music.

The upper torso – the ‘frame’ – needs to be strong and yet relaxed: tense muscles won’t give & receive subtle signals. The man’s embrace needs to be able to communicate clearly where he would like his partner to go; the woman’s embrace needs to be confident – a presence that the man can feel. Yet it’s light and doesn’t fight back or lean on him.

Getting the embrace right can be frustrating at first. But finding the right balance between strength and relaxation, assertiveness and responsiveness enables us to be equal contributors in our different roles. It allows us to give rather than impose. That’s when it feels like we’re dancing as one, rather than struggling with the other.

For an amusing and informative look at a range of embraces, take a look at a wonderful series of photographs and captions on tangocherie’s website. There’s also an interesting series of comments about the effects of some of the embraces on the writers.


Friday, 28 May 2010

Que tangazo!

Ever wondered what makes a great tango?

A local ex-porteño ( … mm, I’m not sure if you can ever stop being a porteño) was recently commenting on some tango music. Like many natives of Buenos Aires, he grew up listening to tangos, but he never learned to dance it. Anyway, I digress.

On hearing D’Arienzo’s interpretation of Pensaló bien, he commented, “My mother would have said: Que tangazo!” I got his drift, but didn’t know exactly what he meant by tangazo. So he dutifully emailed me a grammatical explanation of augmentative suffixes in Spanish. Still, a question remained for me: What makes a good tango a tangazo? Does it simply come down to individual preference?

Later I pressed him further. He thought there would be some common denominators of tangazos. But what were they? He consulted a Uruguayan tangophile who lives interstate, and after some lengthy discussion, this is what they came up with:
  1. Lyrics which scratch below the skin because they 'say something'
  2. Music which is good to dance or listen to
  3. Longevity - people listen to those tangos over the years, the 'guardia vieja' and the new generation alike enjoy them. They never die.
  4. A fan of Troilo (bandoneon as the lead instrument) as compared to a fan of D'Arienzo (piano as the lead instrument) would have different lists of tangazos

So that made me wonder whether some instrumental tangos make the grade?

What about great valses and milongas? I’ve only heard the diminuitive term: valsecito, rather than an augmented version. Could there be a reason for this?

Anyway, here are a few pieces (links to lyrics, music and translations) which I consider tangazos. Of course, you may have a different view altogether about whether these could be considered tangazos. Indeed, there may well be other definitions of tangazos. If so, I’d love to hear from you.


Gloria (De Angelis/Dante)

Adiós Arrabal (D’Agostino/Vargas)

El Adiós (Donato/Lagos)

Mandria (D’Arienzo/Echagüe)

Tristezas de la Calle Corrientes (Troilo/Fiorentino)

Poema (Canaro/Maida)

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Dancing in Buenos Aires

If ever I’m asked about what it’s like dancing in the milongas in Buenos Aires, my first response is, "It depends". For a start, it depends on which milongas, and we choose our milongas carefully. But the more important response is, “It depends on whether we go in as a couple or as singles”. The milonga experience is quite different in the two scenarios.

When we go to neighbourhood milongas like Sin Rumbo, La Baldosa, Sunderland, Circulo Trovador, we tend to go as a couple because they are traditional, largely ‘couples’ milongas. That means we dance just with each other, unless we’re attending with friends. Here we can relax, knowing how each other dances, take a few risks, but always respecting the local codes and the local dancers. It’s a nice feeling to be accepted, and to be part of the local tango community at these milongas.

However, Cachirulo, El Beso, Lujos, Canning (Saturdays) are very different – largely for singles, with a high standard of dancing. Immediately, there are elements of tension and uncertainty to deal with. Using the cabeceo to gain dances with partners who we’ve identified we’d like to dance with – that can take time & patience, and can be a bit nerve-wracking. Others need to be aware that we can dance well before they’re going to look in our respective directions – so whenever we dance, it needs to be neat with good connection with partner and music …. and, of course, always respecting the codes!

The first embrace with a new partner is a defining moment – it tells our partner a lot about us as dancers. As a leader, I need to instill confidence in my partner immediately, so that she can relax into the expectation that she’ll have a good dance experience and that she’ll be safe. My dancing needs to be very focussed – on my partner’s ability, her responses, and my musicality …… the range of ‘figures’ is almost irrelevant. She wants to dance tango and I need to accommodate her idiosyncrasies. Within these parameters, the tanda needs to be an enjoyable experience for both of us accompanied by a necessary level of tension to keep us sharp.

Which experience is better? They are simply different …… and it’s gratifying to be able to choose and reap the rewards of both.


Monday, 5 April 2010

The singer - just another instrument in D’Arienzo’s orchestra?

Juan D’Arienzo, the King of Rhythm apparently once said that the human voice should be no more than an instrument in the tango orchestra. He blamed the declining popularity of tango in the late forties on the starring role of the singers. However, thanks to D’Arienzo’s high energy tangos, valses and milongas, dancers continued to be drawn irresistibly to the dance-floor.

He recorded with a large number of singers, yet I find myself returning to just two of them: Alberto Echagüe and Hector Mauré. Despite his views on the singer’s role, these fellows certainly left their very distinctive imprints on their recordings with D’Arienzo, perhaps despite him! The hard voice of Echagüe reminds us that the stories of these pieces – in this case Pensalo bien - are usually set in uncompromising, working-class neighbourhoods. Here's a treat - a historic video clip of Alberto Echagüe singing Paciencia with D'Arienzo's orchestra.

Contrast that with Hector Mauré singing Amarras whose more refined voice lends everything a more romantic feel. Which is better? Just depends on the mood. I love dancing to them both.

Finally, Geraldine and Javier perform to Humillación sung by Mauré

Do you prefer to dance just to instrumentals, or do you like the singers, too?


Saturday, 20 March 2010

Tango as a journey

Like many gringos, we were first attracted to tango many years ago by stage tango (tango escenario). The powerful music of Piazzolla also played a large role at the time. Much later we discovered that the flamboyant, exhibition-oriented dancing was the flip-side of the tango coin to social tango.

Both are part of tango culture. One is quite rightly aimed at entertaining the audience with highly skilled and impressive figures and combinations. On the other hand, social tango (tango salón) is more subtle and internal. Each dancer has to tune in to their partner’s non-verbal communication in this improvised dance. And for me, that’s much more engaging. Each person’s communication style and response to the music will be different. So every tanda is potentially a private voyage of discovery for each person.

We dance tango salón for our partner in a milonga, alongside many other couples, who are engaging in their own private journeys for the duration of the tanda. Because we are sharing the dance-floor, the códigos of the milonga (milonga etiquette) evolved to meet the needs of all these folk, of course.

Some travel to Buenos Aires to immerse themselves in tango culture, including the códigos, which can be challenging, at least initially. Tangocherie’s blog and comments to - Why do some people bother to come to Buenos Aires to dance? – are a must to read, especially if you plan to make the journey.


Monday, 1 March 2010

Sensitive Golden Age Guys

Some say that tango is a man's world. And it may indeed appear so.

At the milonga - men traditionally invite and lead. Now let's look at the musicians, singers, composers and lyricists - mostly men. South America is traditionally known for its machismo. Men are powerful. They call the shots. Or do they?

Taking a close look at the lyrics of many tangos will reveal another perspective altogether. Rather than self-aggrandisement, a great many tangos lament men's mistakes, weaknesses, losses, regrets, betrayal, etc. Far from trumpeting macho achievement and strength, we hear them admitting to their failures - usually in matters of the heart. Trasnochando, Gloria and Idilio trunco are just a few of the many examples which we can listen to, while reading the translations.

Perhaps we see a different side of the Argentine man through these tangos.

Finally, here's Di Sarli's version of the irresistible Patotero sentimental (sentimental gangster) danced by Cristina Sosa and Daniel Nacucchio:


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Talk & tango? I just can’t do it!

Have you ever started dancing with someone who wanted to have a chat while accompanying you around the pista? What was the outcome? How was the tango?

Many of us can multi-task quite successfully. But this combination does not work for me at all, and I suspect that I’m not alone. Today, while listening to my ipod, mercifully distracted from a dental procedure, I pondered why this might be so.

Music generates emotional & physical responses. Its influence can be energetic, calming, soporific, romantic, melancholic, joyful, etc. Understanding the lyrics isn’t a pre-requisite, at all, although it enhances the experience. Our brains are hard-wired to get the musical message (Daniel Levitin). Dancing is a physical expression of that. So whether or not we’re aware of it, my partner and I, together, are physically responding to the emotions evoked when a piece of music calls us to the floor. I like to make the most of the tanda with my partner, and if we’re lucky, we may experience that addictive tango-zone.

While dancing, chatting about a recent good film or a mutual friend, will simply interfere with that strong, but fleeting connection. It reminds me of those annoying TV commercials which pop up inappropriately at critical moments during a movie. No chance there of being transported by the dance!

Then there’s the complexity of much tango music, with so many delicious improvisational possibilities. Choreographed patterns of dance learned by rote can allow for talk. After all, the body already knows what it’s going to do. But to improvise, in other words to dance “in the moment”, your attention needs to be dedicated to the music and your partner. The concept of entrega is about abandoning yourself to your partner and the music … just for that tanda, of course. Little wonder that milongueros don’t get up to dance to just any music. They’re choosy about their music and partners. When they dance, they put ‘all the meat on the fire’ todo la carne en la parilla.

So what do you do if your partner wants to tango and talk?
  1. Go with the flow and chat for the remainder of the tanda
  2. Say “Thank-you” and return to your table
  3. Ignore the talk. If you don’t respond, it may stop eventually.
  4. Simply admit: “I’m not able to dance tango and talk at the same time”. Hopefully the message will be clear.
  5. Never dance with that person again
What do you think?

Saturday, 30 January 2010

In need of a pick-me-up? Try a vals or two!

What makes the tango vals unique? Are there elements in vals music that distinguishes it from Viennese waltz, or are they the same but we simply dance them differently?

Joaquin Amenabar, in his book ‘Tango. Let’s dance to the music!’ says: “The tango waltz is not different, from a rhythmic point of view, from the Viennese waltz. They both have a three-beat rhythm".

"The only difference is the speed: the music of tango waltz is faster than the Viennese waltz. It is only for this reason that, whilst in the Viennese waltz one steps on every beat, in the tango waltz we normally step on only the first of three beats – if not we would be dancing too fast.”

He goes on to say that in addition to the simple-time step, we can also make double-time steps. However, we step on two of the three beats – either as 1st & 2nd beat, or 1st & 3rd beat. These can also be interspersed with simple-time beats.

If we are going to dance vals, then we are obliged to step on the strong 1st beat …… then we can choose to introduce double- time steps and pauses in response to the music.

But quite apart from these technical details, we only need to look at the following three clips to see that personal style & personality adds another layer that makes each person’s tango vals unique. The second clip is evidence that, despite Joaquin’s statement, there are also some beautiful slow valses.

The first from Tete and Silvia “Claro de luna” illustrates the sense of freedom and joy that Tete brought to his vals.

The second from Osvaldo & Coca “Con tu mirar” is a lesson on understatement, and it’s worth looking for those elements of rhythm Joaquin talked about.

Thirdly, Roxana Suarez & Sebastián Achaval’s “Pabellon de las rosas” shows a very skilful young couple with wonderful timing & musicality.

Finally, for the classical music buffs, the lyrics of El viejo vals start with the following line: Al lánguido compás de un vals de Chopin, mi amor te confesé ... (Orchestra: Francisco Rotundo, singers: Campos & Ruiz).


Monday, 25 January 2010

Poetry sung out loud

Maybe I've been listening to too much tango for far too long. But lately, I find myself quietly singing along to parts of my favourite tangos that have gradually embedded themselves in my brain. (Too bad, if you happen to be close by!)

Dancing to a tango, vals or milonga, when you know the story, adds an interesting dimension to the dance experience. Hence, the addition to our weblinks of two more tango websites with very good translations of many lyrics. So if you want another perspective to your tango experience, you couldn't go wrong with indulging in a spot of poetry reading while listening to the music.


Monday, 11 January 2010

Tete Rusconi and Osvaldo Zotto

How can we make up for the recent loss of these two great dancers? In short, we can't. They take with them to their graves the essential elements that made Tete's valses unique for their vigour and sense of joy, and the beauty that Osvaldo's precision gave to his dance.

Tete was no doubt dancing as a young man during the Golden Age of tango - think of the great musicians and dancers that contributed to what became Tete's dancing. We saw him often at Maipu 444 and El Beso dancing with the energy of a young man; there was absolutely no doubt that the milonga was a second home to him and that he simply loved to dance.

Our first memories of Osvaldo were from his instructional tapes with Mora Godoy in the late 90s, teaching his viewers precisely where to step & how to lead. Later, we would regularly see him at the Club Sunderland restaurant with his partner Lorena and friend Carlos Gavito; it was very obvious how much he cared for Gavito and no doubt took part of him into his teaching and dancing.

Perhaps there is something we can all attempt to do to make up for this loss in a small way. We can strive to pass on to the next generation of dancers what we have gleaned from these two masters: the joy of tango and its simplicity when danced from the heart.

Here is a glimpse of the irrepressible Tete , Osvaldo with Lorena part 1 and part 2 (unfortunately, the recording of their dance to Indio Manso was divided), and finally Osvaldo in a remarkable solo.


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