Why People Travel to Argentina to Dance Tango-BBC Interview

Transoceanic Rowing – Tango

My friend Sally Blake, author of Happy Tango, was interviewed by John McCarthy along with others about travelling to Argentina to dance the ‘authentic’ Argentine Tango.

There is also an interesting interview with Roz Savage, the first woman to row solo across the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Interview – Visitor from Rome – Aug 08


Daniela Pas, a.k.a. Madame Chiffon, is an elegant and petit lady with a zest for life and a passion for Tango. She organises a milonga in Rome called La Milonga Stregata – (Ristorante Garden) – Via Nomentana 677 – (near Piazza Sempione) Rome. (Wednesday, from 9:30pm to 01:00am). Although Daniela has been to London many times, this is her first trip as a Tango dancer.

AT: Daniela, what was your first impression of the London Tango scene?

DP: My first impression was to “feel at home!” I am convinced that the Tango is not only a dance, but a way of thinking and feeling united, even among people who you have never known. I must say that I was very happy to see that so many people also love the Tango in London. “Milongueros” in London are very friendly, and I had the good fortune to meet some really lovely people.

AT: How is the dancing and the music that is played in London different from the dancing and music played in Rome?

DP: Tango music is basically the same as everywhere else. However, I noticed a different way of dancing to Tango music by the English. There seems to be a predilection for those Tangos with a pace more musically scanned and fast. Probably because we Italians are a Latin people and, therefore, very hot and passionate, we love dancing too much to music that is more romantic and passionate. We are not satisfied, in short, to dance “on pace”, but often prefer to dance “on the melody”.

I also noticed that in the London Milongas there is not much use of “Cortinas”. These musical intermissions are needed for couples to decide what orchestras and at what time they prefer to dance to the music and, accordingly, with those who they want to dance with at that particular time. This choice can only be made by listening to the beginning of the first song (unless it is announced by the DJ), and as the whole Tanda will generally be composed of similar music, everything becomes much more simple. The curtain music also allows couples to break up conveniently, having danced a Tanda. It would be a lack of respect to the lady, in fact, if the dancer does not conclude the Tanda with her.

AT: What did you like about the Milongas in London?

DP: The London milongas are all very beautiful and spacious and I do not know which I liked more.
I can only say that I found very suggestive “The Crypt.” Not ‘something very usual for me to dance the Tango in a church! ….. Although my parents chose a Tango to be played while pronouncing their wedding vows. It was: “The melody of Corazon” by Edgardo Donato, a song from a study by Chopin that my mother, a concert pianist, loved very much and that never fails in my play list.

AT: What is your favourite Tango song and why?

DP: My favourite Tango song, and “my Tango”, is called “Chiffon Silk”. It was written just for me by my great friend, pianist and composer, Maestro Sergio Di Giacomo, dell’Orchestra Ausonia Ensemble. This is a song yet unpublished and will hopefully be included in a CD. I shall be very proud if that happens!