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.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Playground Tango

by Terence Clarke

In a well-written and perceptive article, Clarke calls tango nuevo in Buenos Aires playground tango. He cites Pablo y Dana's school, DNI on Corrientes as the perfect example of young students trying to change an old style that they know nothing about. A good point he made as that many women come to tango with a background in dance, and so can "manage" the moves. Not true with the men who often fling the women around like dead weights.

Clarke knows how to turn a phrase: There is a kind of...tribal European dance that many people believe is tango, which is indeed called tango, in which the basic precepts of Argentine tango dance are being ignored, things like a proper lead, following the music, knowing the history of the dance and the music, respecting your partner, dressing well.



Anonymous said...

Maybe that's what rubs me wrong about nuevo?

Although I don't think "knowing the history of the dance and music" or "dressing well" necessarily make better dancers :-)

Anonymous said...

That article was great! I don't know why most "young" people run to nuevo. Playground Tango or what I consider a different form of "stupid salsa" just doesn't have the depth and feeling that Argentine Tango has. And I say this as one of the "young" people who has been dancing Argentine Tango for less than two years. I grew up dancing and it is for THAT reason Argentine Tango interests me and not Playground Tango.

Miss Tango said...

He made some very good points.

Psyche said...

Predictably, I this article made me angry, and I actually think it's pretty ignorant. For one thing, DNI is *not* the 'studio of choice' for nuevo. It's a bizarre cult whose students can only dance comfortably with each other because they're taught a technique that is specific to Pablo and Dana. All the good nuevo dancers I know avoid DNI students like the plague.

And anyone who claims that nuevo dancers don't care about the music, or the connection, knows nothing about nuevo. And to claim that we don't have the same depth of feeling is frankly insulting.

And I generally feel much more part of the dance when dancing with a nuevo dancer than with a milonguero or salon dancer. I've met old milonguero teachers who I felt really weren't remotely interested in women or their experience of the dance, who talked to the male students and used the female ones as props.

Plus, you simply can't insist one minute that tango is all about internal feeling and then the next claim that it matters what you wear.

End rant.