Category: Tango!

El Tango en el Aula: Mi experiencia en Rochester, New York

Cuando era adolescente, el tango no me llamaba mucho la atención. Me parecía ser un tipo de música excesivamente melodramático, y que además gustaba sólo a los “viejos”. Como sucede con tantos argentinos criados en el exterior, el tango fue entrando en mi vida por una puerta chica, a intervalos regulares, con cada viaje a Córdoba, pasando, cómo no, por Buenos Aires. Un poco en la calle, otro poco por TV, y el resto …

Bilingual: How Sweet as Long as It Lasted: Contributions to a Critique of Tango

English + EspañolTango is once again occupying a fundamental place in the world’s cultural offerings. The interest goes back a couple of decades when Astor Piazolla’s music drew interpreters of classical music and jazz. In Argentina, tango now has a privileged position in the tourist market, where from time to time it goes hand in hand with such attractions as the bife de chorizo, the star of Argentine barbecue. This outburst …

All Tangled Up in Tango

Entanglements are hard to explain. My life probably started with a tango, playing along in the radio close to my mother and my first screaming efforts to breathe. Radio was so important in people’s lives then, and tango meant a lot to my father. He sang it in the shower, whistled it on his way to work and made the house stand still in the night when he would sit at the piano and deliver a performance worthy of a place on the stage of …

Bilingual: Memories of Tango

English + EspañolI think tango and I think of women. I think tango and I think of Perón. Let me explain: as a child I used to hear tangos sung by our maid, a woman who had left the pampa to come down to the city, and whose political leanings were the exact opposite of those of my parents. Justa was a fervent peronista. Thanks to Perón she had discovered that she could be more than a maid. My mother let her have two …

Why I Do Not Like Tango

I’m out: I’m saying it: I do not like tango. I’m an Argentine who cannot dance tango, and has never liked it. When I’m in Buenos Aires, I love to see dancers (sleek or plump, young or old) in San Telmo, entirely focused on music and the entwined grammar of two bodies; I’ve taught tango as a cultural phenomenon in a course about Buenos Aires, and had fun watching my students’ abandon as the sweepingly nostalgic edges of the …

Tango, Samba, Modernity and Nation: It takes more than two

The story begins in a Paris cabaret, in the 1910s. Suddenly, the conductor of the orchestra—all Brazilian musicians—announces: “And now, ladies and gentlemen, a Brazilian Tango!” The story could have ended right there, if it weren’t for a group of Argentine tourists in the audience who rose up and started a fight: “This is impossible, the tango is Argentine.” Tango, indeed, was Argentine, but there was also a lively and effervescent …

Tango! Dance the World Around: Global Transformations of Latin American Culture

I am passionately interested in tango and profoundly ignorant about it. When I came to the Humanities Center at Harvard two years ago, I knew that at last I had an opportunity to direct my passion towards overcoming my ignorance. This is the personal motivation behind “Tango! Dance the World Around: Global Transformations of Latin American Culture”—our October 26 and 27 tango conference, co-sponsored by …

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