In today’s episode we talked about women. Women as a genre and as source of inspiration of so many beautiful pieces of art made with music. Tango, as we know, is music created a hundred + years ago, when the societies were different. The role of women was different too and there are also common places which defined women in the poetry of tango from 1880s until these days.
There were, at all times, women who have occupied the place of an inspiration muse. At the same time, art succeeds in creating a kind of woman that sometimes becomes the paradigm of her time, like Grisel, who we dedicated an episode, Maria, Griseta, Solede, Malena, Ivonne and so many others.
Mariposita – Roberto Goyeneche with Pontier
A la gran muñeca – Carlos Di Sarli
Muneca Brava – Adriana Varela
Grisel – Mariano Mores
Mano a Mano – Carlos Gardel
El Motivo – Astor Piazzolla
Margot – Julio Sosa
Malena – Osvaldo Pugliese
Duelo Criollo – Nelly Omar
New York and New Jersey have that feeling that you can dance too. You can feel home there in these warm places called milongas. A perfect night is a combination of Malbec and Tango. A trip to Buenos Aires.
In today’s episode we talked about Catulo Castillo, one of the great creators that Tango gave. We discussed in earlier episodes, the history of tango, the lyrics of tango and the earlier composers like Angel Villoldo, Pascual Contursi, Cadicamo, Homero Manzi and Santos Discepolo.
Cátulo Castillo, with his lyrics, dug the subjects that always haunted tango: the painful nostalgia for what is lost, love sufferings and the decline of life.
La Ultima Curda
El Ultimo Café
Maestros Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Pugliese had a great performance together (they shared stages a few times), this time in Carre Theater, Amsterdam, on June 29th, 1989. A jamming session that made history.
When someone expresses an interest in learning tango, I often hesitate. I know tango looks fun, sexy and beautiful, but it can be a serious commitment. It’s a hardcore pursuit. Yes, some people casually dance tango as a hobby. But here’s the reality: tango is like a vampire that bites into your heart and changes your soul forever. Once it bites you, you will be seduced into an endless quest that steals your time, money, mind – and your heart. Therefore, be warned…
You better LOVE technique. If you have a passion for nitty gritty, detailed technique that teaches nuances of movement, leading/following, connection, posture and body organization, then you will be captivated by tango. The amount of technique to learn will deeply humble you. If you just want to have fun, remember that your partner’s idea of having fun is usually based on doing this skillfully. Most tango dancers don’t just “play around”. Technique is what makes the dance feel amazing to your partner. If you care about that, awesome! If you don’t, maybe partner dancing isn’t for you….
It takes money. If you aren’t investing in truly learning tango, you probably won’t be dancing much or enjoying it when you do. Private lessons, workshops, tango shoes, milongas, practicas, outfits – it adds up quickly and it’s quite addicting. You’ll drop serious money on private lessons. I know a guy who blew his annual tango budget by February. Tango is like a heroin habit. Only death and paralysis can stop it.
It’s a long commitment. Tango is not a dance that gets mastered in six months or five years. It’s not a “once a week” kind of a dance. There’s no “low hanging fruit” in tango. This is a multi-layered skill that endlessly unfolds for those who seek its elusive mastery. You’ll think you learned a move – and then you’ll spend years learning how to do it correctly. Ochos are only easy when you’re doing them wrong.
And it’s intimate. A good dance for me goes like this. “Hi, I’m Karen”. Seconds later, I have melted into his body and my lips are barely inches from his. It’s four legs and one heart – and we are slowly stripped into total vulnerability as we unveil ourselves through a 9-minute exploration of one another’s skills, potential and expression.
By the end, we know each other in ways we may only intuitively understand. I know if he embraces a woman with tenderness, command or caution. I sense whether he seeks the heart, mind or body of a woman first. I know whether he thinks or feels more. I feel where he is confident, where he is shy and where he is selfish. I sense what he hungers for and what he fears. I know whether he sees me as a conquest, a collaborator or an executor of his command. I know if he is a risk-taker, an explorer or an inventor. I know if he approaches tango as an artist, an engineer or an architect. I know if he is a witty conversationalist or a curious listener. I discover what makes him sexy, beautiful and profoundly captivating – even when all he is doing is “just dancing”.
Tango can be insanely difficult. Expensive. Toilsome. Humbling. And deeply unmasking.
It’s not for everyone. For some people, it’s not for them “right now”.
When I began, I was told that I didn’t find tango. Tango found me.
Let tango find you. And be ready when it does, for tango is a relentless thief. It will gently swipe away your time, money and perhaps your ego – if you have the courage to surrender it. Tango unmasks our true character, our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses and our magical unwrapped talents. But only for those willing – and able – to give tango what it asks of us first.
I bet you know El Choclo, probably one of the most popular tangos along with La Cumparsita. We shared the story of its creator Angel Villoldo, a pioneer. He bears the title of Father of Tango, a somewhat exaggerated qualification because there were many circumstances which originated our music. But his influence was so important in the beginnings and its development which made him deserve this designation.
He is the great transformer of the Spanish tanguillos, the cuplés, the habaneras, turning those musics into a River Plate rhythm.
A natural artist, he avoided no activity which enabled him to earn some money for a living. It is said that he was a typographer, circus clown and any other job he was required for. With a facility for writing, he devised stanzas for carnival costumed groups and numerous poems and prose writings for well-known magazines of the time: Caras y caretas, Fray Mocho and P.B.T.