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!


Aug 11, 2014


This is an excellent article by Veronica Toumanova on “Gancho” blog – courtesy Steve Yee’s Face Book post. The author is trying to answer many questions that every tango dancers starts asking him/herself sooner or  later. Sometimes we try to talk about it with my tango friends and students – but we rarely have time to “get to the bottom of it”. I certainly appreciate the effort made in this article to answer these questions – that’s why I am placing it here in my blog. I also welcome your thoughts/comments.