Reflecting on Milongueros: A Vital Pulse in the Heart of Tango
Ah, the tangible nostalgia of those VHS days! My journey into the enchanting world of tango, initiated in the late 90s, was cradled by the wisdom shared through tapes, which I zealously ordered from an online vendor. Icons like Tete Pedro Rusconi, Omar Vega, Osvaldo Zotto and Mora Godoy, Manolo José María Salvador, Puppy Castelloand, Pulpo Norberto Esbrez, Graciela González, and Daniel Trenner alongside Rebacca Schuman graced my screen and sowed the seeds of my tango exploration.
Recently, I reimmersed myself in these vintage teachings as part of an ongoing research project. Over two decades later, the vibrant echoes of my initial tango steps, replayed through these tapes, warmed my soul with nostalgic joy.
An interesting observation: the instructional essence then was predominantly "do this, do that." The emotional heartbeat, the soul of tango, wasn't necessarily vocalized. "Embrace the emotion, delve into the pleasure"—these sentiments were often unspoken, making the journey into heartful tango dancing a uniquely introspective endeavor.
Then, in 1999, at a cozy tango weekend event in upstate New York, Ricardo Vidort imparted an enlightening whisper: "Tango is feeling." This simple yet profound insight gracefully pivoted my tango journey.
Dancing in the authentic embrace of Buenos Aires milongas since 1999, I learned to unlearn. I embraced tango with my heart, sinking into the music, melding with my partner, and sharing emotional dialogues spun from rhythmic melodies.
The subtle yet profound influence of milongueros on the floor was like a silent, potent teacher. Their genuine presence, harmoniously synchronized with the music, partner, and surroundings, imparted impactful lessons that significantly sculpted my tango narrative.
Here arises a gentle concern from the depths of my love for tango: with the decline in the influence of milongueros, how will the dance floors in Buenos Aires viberate in the upcoming years?
Your insights and reflections on this would be heartwarmingly welcomed as we tango through these contemplations together.
With warm, rhythmic regards,
Source: "Ricard Vidort” from the documentary "Tango Your Life" by Chan Park.