After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Last Tango in Argentina?
Here's an example of what we've been talking about ever since I started this blog. How will tango be affected (some say "infected") by the young and foreign? One of my favorite dance critics seems to think that tango will become only music for easy listening. Read below excerpts from his review of tanghetto's concert in L.A.
TRADITIONAL TANGO TRUMPS NEW
Despite losing its sense of identity in a rocked-up second half, the program dazzles with old-fashioned virtuosity.
By Lewis Segal, L.A. Times
As traditional forms of music adapt to the social and technological changes of a new century, dance either stays nostalgic and backdated (classical ballet in America, for example) or struggles to keep up. That struggle informed the uneven but intriguing Fiesta Argentina 2007, a program of satisfying old and problematic new tango at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on Saturday...
After intermission came a set by Tanghetto, a popular, skillful six-member Argentine group that experiments with what it calls electrotango but that added so much contemporary rock to its sound Saturday that it sometimes lost any sense of tango identity...
Sometimes just the wheeze of the bandoneón reminded you that you were on tango turf, and that was clearly the point of the song "Alexanderplatz": evoking the scraps of connection to the home culture that help sustain Argentines abroad. But it wasn't enough for the dancers, who seemed to find the lack of a deep rhythmic pulse in Tanghetto's music troublesome...
Certainly everyone looked either arbitrary in movement choices or downright uncomfortable ...
But maybe this music doesn't need or invite any dancing. That would be something new in the history of tango, something inevitable, perhaps, though it's unlikely that even the young revolutionaries of Tanghetto look forward to the last dance in Buenos Aires with anything but regret.
What do you think? Is it inevitable that people will stop dancing tango when traditional music is no longer played?