Apr 29, 2015

“Three to Tango” by Moshe Shulman

Congratulations to Moshe Shulman, leader of Buffalo Tango Orkestra – his book “Three to Tango” about basic music theory for tango dancers has been published and will soon appear on Amazon. It can also be purchased through Moshe’s website:
CD is included with the book: with counting voice over tango examples, dance instructions and drills to practice. In addition, the glossary includes music terms for reader’s general knowledge.

Apr 21, 2015


Schedule change:
The theme for Friday May 1: “SPEAKEASY MILONGA PARTY" (D.J. JORGE)

We will try to recreate the atmosphere of the era when tango became the rage all over the world! Get into spirit and dress the part – we are going to have fun!

Class: 8:30
Milonga: follows class till about 1:00 a.m.
Class only $15 (Students with ID – $8)
Milonga only $15 (Students with ID – $8)
Milonga & Class $15 (Students with ID – $8)

The Dovercourt House, Main Ballroom, 805 Dovercourt Rd., (1.5 blocks north of Bloor St. W.)

CASH BAR (no personal refreshments please!)

• free on Dovercourt til midnight;
• free on Bloor St. W. from 9:00 pm

Salvation Army lot for our Friday night patrons: limited parking available before 10pm. But from 10 p.m on there is more parking. $2 per car, obtain permit from Paradiso organizers.

To reserve: paradiso-tango@rogers.com
For further information re parking: http://www.torontoargentinetango.blogspot.com

Mar 25, 2015

PARADISO_A short history of the longest-running milonga in Toronto

In anticipation of Paradiso’s 18th anniversary on April 17, we want to share a history of our milonga with you, our patrons. Milonga Paradiso made its first (tango) steps at a small Italian restaurant In Citta in the heart of downtown on Toronto street in April 1997. It was born out of necessity of then small Toronto tango community to have a place to dance Argentine Tango on a regular basis. Fridays was a logical choice – we tried not to compete with another event that was held once a month on Saturdays those years. There at In Citta we first welcomed such prominent tango dancers as Carlos Gavito and Marcela Durán, Hernan Obispo and Mariana Dragone, Florencia Tachetti, Julio Mendez and others.

We felt comfortable at In Citta – that’s where we perfected the milonga running business: built it on example of Buenos Aires milongas. For the first time Toronto tango dancers danced to music set to tandas with cortinas. We outlived two consequent owners of the restaurant but, unfortunately, the third one had a vision for In Citta that was not conducive to have us there: he changed the name and made it into an after work noisy bar. He knew what to expect from tango – the idea of axis, balance and one-drink-a-night did not sit well with him. We were asked to practice our tango steps elsewhere.

We were disappointed to lose our familiar and cosy hangout but fate really wanted us to survive and expand: soon we found a funky loft on Richmond street, a 1100 sq. ft. cavernous space equipped with a heavy sliding barn door, exposed brick walls, tall windows and full of theatrical props and sets. We loved it and so did our patrons. “Paradiso on Richmond” was a cool and bohemian place, not unlike milonga La Catedral in Buenos Aires (we did not have two matching chairs, just like La Catedral!). For two happy years we didn’t mind dragging our stereo equipment and drinks to the 3rd floor without an elevator to our favourite loft, until we became victims of gentrification once again.
Like true tango nomads, we moved from place to place – from a strange theatre studio space on Eastern Avenue, to a converted church on Ontario street (where we painted floors and walls, as a part of our rental condition), to a Portuguese social club Lusitania on Ossington – until The Dovercourt House became our permanent home.

Over the years, we were fortunate to host incredible tango dancers and musicians in addition to ones already mentioned: Graciela Gonzalez, Milena Plebs, Susanna Miller, Enriqueta Kleinman and Ruben Harymbat (Ruben de Pompeya), Alberto Dassieu and Paulina Spinosa, l
ate Marta Anton and Manolo, Nelson Avila and Madalene, Elias Navas, Metin Yazir, Ramiro Gigliotti, Elina Roldan, Junior Cervilla and Mylène Pelletier, Grammy Award winner Raul Jaurena, the whole Buffalo Tango Orquestra, Sergio Cortazzo and Gachi Fernandez, Alejandro Hermida and others.

The most important thing – we met hundreds of tango dancers not only from Toronto, but from all over Canada, United States and all over the world who came to dance at Paradiso over the 18 years of Paradiso’s existence and is still the most fascinating part of our history.

Feb 23, 2015

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Notes and thoughts about tango.

This is an old entry from a Tango List that I kept in my archives. I will be posting more as I go along cleaning and updating them.

This is an old entry from the Tango List. Oldie buy goodie... I will be posting more as I rediscover them in my files.
“According to Raul Jaurena, the 2007 Grammy Award Winner and bandoneon player, there are 2 styles of Tango and Milonga: 1 from Uruguay and 1 from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The difference consists in that the Tango and Milonga from Uruguay has more cadence, is played a bit slower, and has pauses due to
its lasting connection to African roots, while the Tango and Milonga from BA are played a bit faster, and I think has no or fewer pauses.
Raul Jaurena has a cd called "Te Amo Tango" where he offers samples of the style of Tango and Milonga from Uruguay. The Milongas are : "El Botija" and "La Pirulita". The Tangos are: "Guruyense" and "A Mancuso".
The late Florindo Sassone said that the real Tango is played strong and played in a Milonga syle. In a live recording and in his last tour to Japan, Florindo briefly made this remark when he played the tango called "La Clavada": it was played with cadence, and a bit slower than other interpretations I have heard from him, and from other Argentine Tango bands.
Vicente Rossi in his book "Cosas de Negros" tracks the roots of Tango to the Milonga from Uruguay, which, he explains, was edited by Argentine musicians into Tango. A case in point was the use of parts of popular Milongas, which had no author, that were used in creating new Tango music.”

Sep 21, 2014


This is a curious video (the quality is not very good, unfortunately): one of Buenos Aires tango teachers – Sergio Cortazzo, who we brought to teach at Viva Tango and Paradiso about 10 years ago – is doing a little parody on the dancing style of a great tango maestro Pupi Castello. Pupi (for those who don’t know) was a teacher of my teacher Graciela Gonzalez – and later made her his assistant and dance partner. They have developed an amazingly warm father-daughter relationship: Graciela has been watching over him when his health started to fail but he still attended milongas where he enjoyed a shot or two of his favourite gin (straight). In 2007 when Graciela and I were at the airport in Moscow waiting for her flight back to Buenos Aires after tango festivals in St. Petersburg and Moscow, she was talking about Pupi being very ill. She wrote to me from Buenos Aires a couple of weeks later letting me know that Pupi died (I knew him well, too) – she wrote “he died soon after I returned to Buenos Aires, as if he was waiting to see me to say good-bye”.

In this video Sergio captures Pupi’s unique dance style which is more “robust” than the dance styles of new generation of tango teachers and dancers: the style from before the tango became a precious money making commodity demanded by tango aficionados all over the world.

Here is a video of Graciela and Pupi dancing on a beautiful floor of Salon Canning in Buenos Aires:

And here is Sergio doing his very talented parody:

Aug 26, 2014

LOVELY DEMO_Noelia Hurtado y Sebastián Arce

I think you would enjoy watching this video – Berenice Gonsen posted it on Facebook and I picked it up there. I have been keeping my eye on Sebastian Arce’s dancing for a while and, I must say, I really like what he is doing. Noelia is lovely and alive – she is an active participant in this dance and not just an attractive attachment. Together they show great musicality, taste and sophistication. Enjoy!