I’ve finally finished the summary of all of the content to tell the story of my time in Berlin in 2012. I thought Storify was the best way to bring everything together in one place to tell the story of what my 10 weeks there was all about.
For the last couple of weeks visiting tango performers and teachers Pablo Nievas & Valeria Zunino have been in South Queensland running workshops and conducting private tango lessons as guests of Friends of Tango.
While I was in Buenos Aires in July I was able to have several group lessons with Pablo and Valeria and found them to be amongst the best teachers of the now approximately eight different teachers that I’ve had lessons with. Tango is a specific skill in itself but so is teaching and like many skilled practitioners it’s a rare person who can both perform and teach. This is their greatest strength in that they have the teaching skill to benefit from their technical excellence as tango performers. The single most impressive thing that I saw them both do was to explain the good and poor technique while the partner would act out what was being explained without having to be told what was coming next. It was as though they were reading each others minds. I suppose when you live and breath tango with a person you can’t help but know how each of you think.
And to show you how they can relate to each in the dance, here is the performance of the three dances they did at the Friends of Tango, Pequeno Nino Bien, Milonga on 21 November 2009 in Brisbane.
In July I travelled to Buenos Aires for 3.5 weeks with some friends to soak up the Argentine culture, to experience the city where tango originates from and still resonates around the world.
I’ve been learning tango for 2.5 years now with Ross and Sandra, my teachers from Friends of Tango Each year they return to Buenos Aires to learn from their teachers and share with those interested, the feel and culture that is this European city in South America. I thought this year I would take the chance to see what all the fuss was about.
I’ve already created quite a bit more information with some interesting observations from both my fellow travellers and locals over at my other podcast site Your Story. There is even a podcast you can freely subscribe to.
Additional to the audio that I produced I’ve spent the last couple of months off and on editing this video. I’ve attempted to make it as interesting as possible for everyone, knowing that we all get bored with the home video/slide shows or friends travels. It’s up to others to decide if I’ve achieved that goal.
I’d appreciate any feedback either here or over on the viddler site where this video is embedded from. Hope you enjoy 🙂
Up until 2001 I had been doing some Latin dancing at Rio Rhythmics in West End, very much along the styles of Salsa, Bolero and Lambada which you’ve probably seen them around occasionally. Then I decided to do a little Tango. Wow!
I still remember and to this day, the two most impressive dances that I’ve had were in 2001 when I danced with Madeline and with Wolfgang. There was a grace I felt in dancing with Madeline that I have yet to feel again and with Wolfgang I felt for the only time the strength and passion that can be expressed through the lead from the man.
I did a few months of Tango and stressed out a great deal over it along with some major personal crisis at the time including the death of my sister in a horse riding accident. The personal issues led me to reassess my life, move to Sydney to work on Matrix 2 & 3 ultimately dropping out of Tango.
Although I meet some wonderful people in 2001 I lost contact with most of them as happens, however I decided in 2007 after some more changes in my life to re-enter the fray and have another crack at learning Tango. So I contacted Wolfgang and he directed me to Ross and Sandra who run Friends of Tango and I started lessons as a beginner again.
Six years later I had forgotten everything and had to start from the basics again. however this time it felt different. It was actually harder. Now that I have more experience I realise that Ross and Sandra are teaching me at a much higher standard than I was being taught before, understanding the subtleties of a dozen things at once making it was much, much more difficult. Now we were moving towards excellence instead of just dancing. Good Tango like the very best of things in life are challenging and can only be appreciated when done with an attitude of excellence.
I’ll go into more later but suffice to say this is one of the half dozen of the most difficult things that I’ve done in my life and it’s required dogged determination all the way. Only now that I’ve move through a transition do I feel that I can write about it.