Argentine Tango School

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Marcelo dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi

To dance, to live like a dancer.

To dance, to live like a dancer.

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi

To really dance, maybe what is needed is to live like a dancer.

I don’t mean to say that to dance, you need to dedicate yourself to dancing as a profession. What I want to say here is something that I will explain below with a comparison.
 
If I liked, for example, riding a bicycle, I would need a bicycle. This bike would be built in a bike factory. It would be ready, with its tires inflated and its chain perfectly oiled when I got on it and started pedaling.
 
The body and soul of the dancer are like that bicycle. Just as it would be really cumbersome to manufacture a bike to be able to mount it and pedal it, I could not dance with a body that has not been conditioned, trained, and prepared, that is, “manufactured” previously to be able to dance.
 
Since I could not dance with a body that is not that of a dancer, and since my body is the only one I have at my disposal from the moment I get up in the morning, I already take into account at that time that my body and my whole being have to be ready to dance when it comes to stepping on the dance floor of the milonga.
 
Of course, anyone can dance, at any time, without much preparation because, in my opinion, being a human being is already being a being that dances.

However, I think we will agree that dancing Tango requires more, much more in subtleties, skills, perception, and awareness than that minimum that is what makes us dancers just because we are human.
 
Dancing a dance like Tango is, I feel, like philosophizing about what is essential in life, in matters such as the value of life itself, that is: if it is worth living or not, and why, that is: whether or not there are reasons for that answer; if language is of any use to us here, if perhaps it is not a more appropriate response to shut up and dance.
 
Now, this silence is not a resignation, so to speak, but a celebration, since we discover that the absence of the common language, the one we use every day, does not represent any problem but could even help us in the deepest of these intimate questions in the solitude of the individual.
 
Tango, as music, as dance, as culture and philosophy of life, and as something different from all that, which includes all of it, but which generates something more significant and further, a way of existing, of living life, is something that excites us, makes us fall in love, gives us meaning, and leads us to a fullness that we always dreamed of living, that which we intuited as children that life was. Perhaps it should not be believed that with an exhaustive and methodical study of its technical aspects, training, and putting objective principles into practice, we will obtain Tango. With that, which is essential, we would only prepare a ground that might one day be fertile enough to make us dancers.

What do we dancers want?

Maybe stop being babies concerning our bodies.
 
Happiness might not be an end but a tool for a life that would find its meaning.
 
Happiness would be something akin to getting organized.
 
Why does a baby stop being a baby?
 
Possibly because she feels pressure from the environment and has to react and change, modify herself and develop responses and adaptations to those pressures. She fights, opposes, submits, adapts, or imposes herself.
 
Marketing would seem to be proposed as a philosophy of life according to which we must consume in the present and urgently everything we want now, what we have ever wanted, and what we may wish to in the future (because it may no longer be available in the market in the future.) There are no alternatives that make themselves heard clearly. The ones that exist are timid and weak, stubborn, blind and deaf, wasting vital energy in violent, undignified, ineffective explosions, or with worthless talk, calming or justifying. Such philosophy, called marketing, is presented as if it were the only one possible. So, living seems to become living within the market, something like selling your life to consume things. Even experiences seem to have been reified.
 
For example: traveling –the “experience” of the trip– has been reified. I heard someone very wise say (I don’t remember who now): “the only possible journey is the journey we make within ourselves.”
 
So perhaps we would do well to train and know our bodies and gauge the value of the spiritual consequences of that training and knowledge; we could take then that wisdom to the field of our social and intimate relationships, that is, recognize ourselves in others, get to know ourselves more in “making ourselves known.” That would make us dancers.
 
This is why I think marketing (as understood by professional marketers) cannot help me to find new students, or more dancers to come to the milongas for milonga organizers, or to promote Tango in general.
 
As I feel Tango, it is for me Friendship. How could friendship be marketed? And since it does not fit in the market, should we conclude it has no value?
My students and I are good friends because we all have a friend in common, a friend we love so much, a friend called Argentine Tango ❤️

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Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi in the San Francisco Bay Area

To dance well in Argentine Tango

To dance well in Argentine Tango

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi in the San Francisco Bay Area

To dance well, that is to say: to DANCE, we will have to organize our lives in that direction; I will not be able to dance well if my life develops away from that goal.
Indeed, if what I long for is, for example, to make money, then my life will be oriented in that direction, in the direction of abstractions (money is an abstraction), very far from my actual body.
 

Put any project on this scale and consider how far the primary goal of that project will be from performing a good dance.

No one is forced to dance well. Truths, life projects, and desires cannot be the same for everyone.
 
I am inclined to think this way: when I reach the end of my life, what would I like to see in the wake left by that life?
 
Imagine all the possible lives we could lead. Let’s try to think and feel them, weigh them, smell them, look at their colors, and measure the scope of their luminous skyscrapers of triumphs and black abysses of awful flavors.

Perhaps we all live in different worlds, with the things and people we surround ourselves with. A life could thus develop in the direction of a choice of one’s own world in which to inhabit.
 
I think that perhaps a good way of living would develop in the direction of becoming more and more capable of directing and selecting what goes into the process of our existence.
 
In particular, as far as I am concerned, I prefer what increases the power of my physiology, makes my body more versatile, adaptable, and happy, my mind more lucid, and my spirit lighter and dancing.
 
Here is the foundational question that is answered with living itself: How to live?
That would be dancing!
Should I ask myself “what for” and/or “for whom”?
 
We could also perhaps answer ourselves: “there are immediate, urgent things to resolve; we live at a precise moment in history which conditions us, that is, it enslaves us and forces us to do things that we would not do otherwise. Let us, then, postpone our plan, our life, until we have resolved the present and responded to all the obligations implicit in its calls”.
 
In particular, my truth concerning this is that we will eternally be bound by the present. We were born like this: OBLIGATED.
 
My opinion on this is the following: it is a matter of perspective; It depends a lot on where we look at life from and where we place ourselves –physically and spiritually– to look at it.
 
Let’s listen to the tango “Me quedé mirandola” by Anibal Troilo with Alberto Marino on vocals. (I ask you… Is there another version of this song that we can dance to?)
 
Sometimes people leave the dance; that is, they abandon the dancing project because they run into a barrier they don’t dare to cross. Although they always give themselves other excuses.
 
I have abandoned many of my previous lives to lighten up enough to be able to continue dancing.
 
And do not think that you will not find doubts about yourselves and the value of dancing!
 
There are many possible worlds, many parallel realities that cannot be accessed in any “objective” way, such as the achievements of science and technology.
 
Don’t you think you should dare?
 
But this is a matter of taste.
 
When I see someone who dances, who DANCES, I see someone free. His body is no longer “ergastulum“, as the Catholic Church used to say in the Middle Ages, meaning “prison of the spirit”, a spirit that must wait until death to be released.

When I see someone DANCING, I see his soul already free in life, no longer waiting, postponing, procrastinating life to perhaps one day meet that fundamental question not only unanswered but never asked.

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Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Lola at Milonga Parakultural, Salón Canning, Buenos Aires 2022. Photo Monteleone.

What is dancing Argentine Tango?

What is dancing Argentine Tango?

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Lola at Milonga Parakultural, Salón Canning, Buenos Aires 2022. Photo Monteleone.

Dancing Argentine Tango is to exist in completeness.

Taking ownership of your body, developing awareness and control of all that is generated from your body: your moves, your breath, your energy, your emotions, and your whole life.

Sharing with one another the greatness and imperfections of being alive.

Give and receive warmth, consolation, affection, and encouragement.

Partake in the joy of being mutually complicit in wittiness.

It is being part of a community of friends who share the celebration of this same joy.

Marcelo Solis with friend from the Argentine Tango community at Milonga Parakultural, Salon Canning, Buenos Aires 2022. Photo Monteleone. From left to right: Nestor Pellicciaro (director of Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires), student, Fernando Hoffmann (milonguero and actor), Marcelo Solis, Blas Catrenau (great milonguero dancer and maestro), friend.

Marcelo Solis at Milonga Parakultural, Salon Canning, Buenos Aires 2022. Photo Monteleone.

Feeling fully alive because it challenges you to become better, since all the fresh sensations of the first encounter need to be continually re-enacted  by a deeper understanding of all human things.

More articles about Argentine Tango

Marcelo Solis answers what is Argentine Tango. He is an expert.

How to dance Argentine Tango?

An introduction to the most important details

Find the answer

Anibal Troilo and his orchestra | Argentine Tango music to learn to dance

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Listen and dance!

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José Gonzalez Castillo Argentine Tango lyricist portrait at the piano

“Sobre el pucho” by Juan D’Arienzo y su Orquesta Típica with Héctor Mauré in vocals, 1941.

“Sobre el pucho” by Juan D’Arienzo y su Orquesta Típica with Héctor Mauré in vocals, 1941.

José Gonzalez Castillo, author of tangos

José González Castillo

Poet and lyricist (25 January 1885 – 22 October 1937)

Lyrics for tango were born around 1914, based on those ones conceived by Pascual Contursi that year and the following years (“De vuelta al bulín”, “Ivette”, “Flor de fango”, “Mi noche triste (Lita)”), and they were growing strong very slowly.

So much so that in Carlos Gardel’s repertoire tangos were, until the next decade, a rare bird. There was not even a notion of how to sing a tango, a standard that Gardel was gradually establishing after 1922.

That was, precisely, the year José González Castillo truly disembarked in the genre with the lyrics of “Sobre el pucho”, after Sebastián Piana’s music, which was introduced at the talent contest organized by Tango cigarettes.

José Gobello (Crónica general del tango, Editorial Fraterna) stated about this work that, with it «some novelties broke into tango that the tango literary work of Homero Manzi would later turn into true constants. By the way, Pompeya («Un callejón en Pompeya/y un farolito plateando el fango…»); later, the description of the neighborhood and, soon, the enumeration as a descriptive procedure».

But in those lyrics there is something else, metaphor, that springs up in the memory that the malevo devotes to his lost love «…tu inconstancia loca/me arrebató de tu boca/como pucho que se tira/ cuando ya/ni sabor ni aroma da». It is clear that González Castillo was a forerunner, and also that other later lyricists were who deepened those trends.

Read more about José González Castillo at www.todotango.com

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We are happy to have a collaboration with the people from tangotunes.com from whom some of you may have heard, they do high-quality transfers from original tango shellacs.

It is the number 1 source for professional Tango DJs all over the world.

  • Now they started a new project that addresses the dancers and the website is https://en.mytango.online
    You will find two compilations at the beginning, one tango and one vals compilation in amazing quality.
    The price is 50€ each (for 32 songs each compilation) and now the good news!

If you enter the promo code 8343 when you register at this site you will get a 20% discount!

Thanks for supporting this project, you will find other useful information on the site, a great initiative.

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Carlos Di Sarli. History of Tango. Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires. Marcelo Solis

“La Trilla” by Carlos Di Sarli y su Orquesta Típica, 1940.

Learn to dance Argentine Tango. Marcelo Solis teaches you at Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires, in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.Carlos Di Sarli: El Señor del Tango

Pianist, leader and composer

(7 January 1903 – 12 January 1960)

He, as nobody else, knew how to combine the rhythmic cadence of tango with a harmonic structure, apparently simple, but full of nuances and subtleties.

He was not enrolled for any of the two streams of his time. His was neither a traditional orchestra, styled after Roberto Firpo or Francisco Canaro nor a follower of the De Caro renewal.

Di Sarli imposed a seal of his own; a different musical profile, which remained, unaltered throughout his prolonged career.

In the beginning, his sextet reveals us the influence of Osvaldo Fresedo. And certainly, I think there would have never been a Di Sarli had not existed a Fresedo. But, only as necessary forerunner of a style that, with time, would become a pure model with its own and differentiated nature.

He was a talented pianist, maybe one of the most important, who conducted his orchestra from his instrument, with which he mastered the synchrony and the performance of the outfit.

In his orchestral scheme there were not instrumental solos, the bandoneon section sang at times the melody, but it had an essentially rhythmic and danceable role. Only the violin was showcased in an extremely delicate way, on a brief solo or on a counter melody. Continue reading.

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