Saturday, 26 November 2011

Jorge Manganelli

The latest PractiMilongueros interviewee is Jorge Manganelli. 'Tango has an evolutionary process that keeps it alive' he says, '... but inside the evolutionary process the essence and the roots should be present... The dance should preserve the essence and the roots.'

His advice: 'Enjoy those three minutes that a tango lasts, the simple fact of enjoying the embrace, of listening to the music, and respecting the couple ahead of you, making sure you don't hurt them'. Once again, those three essential things: the embrace, the music and the floor.

His name led me to YouTube channel Rondadeases ('Ronda of aces'?), which started recently and has some archival video.

This is a 20-minute video from Rondadeases of an evening at Sin Rumbo in April 1989, organised by Manganelli I think, as a presentation to 'Petroleo'. I think that's Portalea and his partner at the beginning. There's a certain amount of Petroleo-influenced dance in it, but also some marvelous salon. The cigarette smoke is visible!

I haven't had time to watch the videos on Rondadeases but they seem to be mostly undated, although some of them certainly date back: the video of Geraldine Rojas, then perhaps 13 or 14, certainly isn't recent (or particularly memorable). & there are some useful videos of Manganelli teaching, in one case a very large workshop in Buenos Aires. His walk is awesome: unhurried, smooth, completely assured, like an entirely benevolent big cat, completely at ease with gravity.

Manganelli also has a website with a page of video links. These include this from the 1988 film Tango, Bayle Nuestro, also I think in Sin Rumbo, with Finito, Portalea, Balmaceda, and others. Once again, that walk...

Interesting that video from that era seems to show much more of a mix of styles than you'd see currently. Perhaps there was more room on the floor in those days. Continuous close embrace is now the predominant dance of Buenos Aires.

P.S. I forgot to add that if you follow the Tango, Bayle Nuestro clip back to YouTube you'll find annotations by Ney Melo, which give the names of individual dancers on a timeline.


Chris said...

Fascinating stuff. Thanks TC.

The commentary is often too fast for me to follow and the translations seem rather loose. It would be great if a tango dancer would make new English translations. Meanwhile, could someone translate for me the sentence starting "None of us dancers can be the same" here? Thanks.

Paul said...

Well, the original is a bit rough around the edges but what I get is something like:

As things aren't as they were in the past, in general we can't , none of us or any of those dancing can ever be the same as in the past for a simple reason- practice.

Still a bit unclear but hopefully this helps a bit.

Chris said...

Ah - so the original translation is way off. Thanks, Paul.