Bajofondo Tango Club

I wasn’t able to see Bajofondo Tango Club on Wednesday the 15th July, but I heard a lot of good reports about it from friends on Facebook and tweets on twitter.

In support I listened to my small collection of Bajofondo while catching up on a bit of writing.

One of my offspring came into the kitchen where I was writing and asked me why was I listening to dicey Spanish trance music.  I explained that it was modern Tango.   He wasn’t buying it.  Hmmmm.

I actually own 8 hours worth of modern Tango music, most of which I would never dance to but I enjoy listening to some of it.  I even made up a CD for the car.

Does he have a point?

Ask Arlene…My friend wants to learn Tango.

Dear Arlene,

A friend of mine heard a song from Gotan Project and decided to buy the album (I could have given it to her for free).  Now she wants to learn how to dance Tango!  She says she loves Gotan Project and feels inspired to learn how to dance Tango and she asked me where she should go for lessons.  I am at a loss as what to tell her.  Although I love to listen to Gotan Project, I don’t like to dance to it.  The teacher I learn from teaches traditional Argentine Tango and never plays modern music.  What should I tell her?

Strictly Salon

Dear Strictly Salon,

I can understand your dilemma.  There are so many teachers out there that would love to have your friend as a student.  Many of them teach the dancing large method that I am particularly averse to.  We all know that Gotan Project isn’t really Tango music.  I can attest to that when I saw them at Brixton Academy a few years ago.  Many people consider it ‘ambient’ or ‘house’ music.  The place was full of young people drinking beer and smoking weed.  I didn’t see one person dancing any form of Tango and one couldn’t if one tried as the place was packed to the limit.  I would have been better off staying at home and listening to the CD’s.  The fact that my kids like some of their songs says a lot, as they generally don’t like anything that I do.

If my own dancing experience is anything to attest to, I started to learn with someone who was teaching show tango moves.  I became good at what I was learning.  Unfortunately, when I went to a traditional milonga, I couldn’t dance.  I had to start over with my learning.  My second teacher taught Tango in the way I always thought it should be danced and the way I saw it danced the very first time I heard Tango music those many years ago.  I will, on occasion, dance open and large (dancefloor permitting), but I prefer close embrace and traditional music.

You can direct your friend to my blog for information about the venues here in London.  As with any beginner to Tango, she will have to find her own way and what is comfortable for her.  You could recommend your teacher.  At least this way she would get a good grounding in the basics.  Then she could experiement with other teachers.

Good luck.

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