The Slovenia Times

The Steamy Passion of Tango



Tango is a social dance, not just a collection of intricate dance steps, and as such belongs to the friendly social gatherings of coffeehouses rather than to sterile dance schools. Tango dancing is an entire lifestyle to many "tangers," who spend weekends attending milongas (organised evenings of tango dancing) far and near, speaking the universal language of tango. One cannot learn or practice tango with only one partner, it is important to encounter and respond to the moves of as many dance partners as possible. After every tanda (a dance unit of three to five songs), all dance partners leave the dance floor. A short break for socializing ensues, followed by music and an invitation to form new couples. This is how tango works - it provokes sensual tension between all the men and women in the dancehall. In this, tango is shamelessly promiscuous. However, before you start planning a vendetta against somebody who has been dancing with your wife a tad too long, it is important to remember that mutual respect is crucial, and that tango is all about "what if....?," and not "let's do it." Reduced to its simplest form, the dialogue of tango goes: "Show me your passion and provoke mine, ask me a question and I'll answer you by asking you to answer me, by asking me to answer you..." Every move is a surprise, agreed upon by the couple, and every dance is unique. The Argentine style involves intricate foot movements, built out of grapevines, figure-eights, and other interesting footwork patterns. It does not travel much around a room, and is better suited for nightclub dancing than other varieties of tango. Age is not important - as long as you're willing to share your energy with others, you can dance the tango. And the more you dance, the more skilled and elegant in catlike walking and sharp head movements you become. Tango is like life itself, it never stops changing, for it is based on communication, improvisation and visual impression. The great tango artist Carlos Gavito once said that tango is not just dance steps, it's everything that happens between. Tango es entre paso y paso. It is of utmost importance to start learning tango with a quality teacher - who is a dancer first, and a teacher second. Feeling and dance instinct mean everything. The best teachers of Argentinean tango come from the country of its naissance, Argentina. Slovenia being so far away from South America, a misinformed tango enthusiast might just sadly shake his head, thinking that maybe in his next reincarnation he will land in Argentina and then perhaps... but wait! World-class Argentinean tango teachers are coming to Slovenia this very week! Tango Argentino Klub Ljubljana (, has been organising courses of Argentinean tango in Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje, and Zagreb for seven years now. It has grown into a wonderfully devoted group of tango aficionados. From the 6th to the 9th of April, they are holding the 2nd International Tango Festival in Kavarna Union of the Grand Hotel Union in Ljubljana. More than a hundred experienced dancers and total beginners from Slovenia and abroad are expected to come to socialize and learn new steps under the guidance of the best Argentine tango dancers in the world. Osvaldo and Lorena have a reputation for dancing the most beautiful stage tango in the world, and will reveal the secrets of perfect tango elegance. Pablo Ojeda and Beatriz Romero surprise audiences around the globe with stunning tricks at tango festivals, as do Julio Balmaceda and Corina de la Rosa, who are much loved for their amiability and very energetic, fluid dancing. The special guests of the festival are Osvaldo and Coca Cartery, who dance the original Argentine tango and who won the title for best tango couple in the world when they were 67! They are very much in demand, but give dancing lessons only in Ljubljana. They performed at the opening of the festival on Tuesday, accompanied by live music from Alejandro Sarkissian of Montevideo on piano and Christian Bakanic on bandoneon. On Saturday, the 8th of April, everyone is invited to tango cabaret, the Night of Argentine Tango, with Argentinean singer and actress Eva Encanto, who will be accompanied by all four of the famous dance couples. Not to be missed by any tango enthusiast!


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