Sunday, 4 March 2012

The good news...

For anyone within reach of London, in case you haven't heard, Carablanca is having an extended evening on Friday 16 March. No class, just dancing, 8 to 2am, with DJ Bernhard Gehberger from Vienna. Six hours, a full-length milonga! A mini-festivalito! Great if you can't afford to travel far for a good evening of tango.


Anonymous said...

But don't you find that people prefer classes before milongas? SO they can learn new steps and try them out in the milonga without forgetting them. I really don't like having to write down the steps.

Chris said...

Tango Commuter wrote: "No class"

Actually, just a reduction to two hours of classes, from the usual three plus.

Since the normal Carablanca evening now has more hours of classes than dancing, well done Carablanca for running a special evening that puts dancing first.

Now that the previously class-free milongas Milonga8, Tango on the Thames and Eastenderos have all added classes, I think London has no class-free milongas left. Would someone please start one? Thanks :)

Tango en el Cielo said...

Good news indeed! and, even better, Joaquín Amenábar
will be in London that same weekend (17-18 March) teaching workshops on tango music for tango dancers at Tango en el Cielo. Please see details at:
I plan to bring Joaquín to Carablanca on the Friday night (to enjoy the milonga, not to teach or perform).
So- lovers of good tango music we have a 3-day feast in store!

Tangocommuter said...

Hi Anon, I'm not against classes in general. It's just that I value dance time, and it's great to have a good long evening of dance instead of the usual two or three hours. & why write down 'steps'? A few moments of video is better, isn't it?

But I must say I think that most pre-milonga classes don't have a lot of value, apart from the social value of everyone getting together and meeting informally. Pre-milonga classes tend to be taught by visiting teachers who have little continuing interest in you. They tend to want to be seen as energetic and expert, so they often teach material that's inappropriate to the milonga. They often come from a background in ballet, contemporary dance or gymnastics, which makes them likely to be impatient with social dance, and inexperienced in the milonga. The fact that they may come from Buenos Aires is neither here nor there. They'll teach a few steps, but they won't teach you to dance. The two aren't necessarily the same thing.

I'd go to pre-milonga classes if the teacher has long experience of social dance, a real feel for the music, and teaches regularly at that milonga, but I'm afraid an opportunity like that is rare in the UK.

Chris said...

Anon wrote: "But don't you find that people prefer classes before milongas? SO they can learn new steps and try them out in the milonga without forgetting them."

Anon, it helps to understand that hereabouts there are basically two different things called dancing tango.

What you describe is an tango-inspired English pattern dance based on instruction, and yes, for most who do it, there is little point having a milonga without a class beforehand for a teacher to tell them what steps to do. This is the dance taught in 90% of London's pre-milonga classes.

The other kind of tango dancing is the one referred to by TC, the one danced in Buenos Aires and the rest of Europe, the one that people generally call Argentine tango to try and distinguish it from the English variety. This is a traditional improvised dance based on the music, rather than on steps learned from an instructor.

TC says "The two aren't necessarily the same thing." I'd say the two are necessarily not the same thing. If you're just starting out learning to dance tango, it really helps to be clear in yourself which of the two you want to do.