By Iji O. Solomon
It’s exciting to know we will actually be having a Tango evening at McDanielCollege this Wednesday!—6:00pm, Room 220. If you’re hearing this for the first time, it’s real and it’s going to be awesome, exhilarating, and rhythmically sensuous. The event is heartily brought to us by Eva Benő, a superb ‘Tanguera’ or tango dancer of the Argentinean Tango genre and the original form of the dance. I asked Ms. Benő to give us a teaser of what to expect on Wednesday the 28th of November.
This is what she had to say.
“Its nice to be able to share my experience and passion with you!
I dance Tango during the evenings, or let’s say by night, because I am a geologist during the day. Argentine Tango takes me away from the everyday life into silent meditation between me and my dancing partner while we on its music. It makes us feel more ourselves, and helps a person to communicate with their body, to be sensual, to express feeling, to be able to trust the partner 100 percent, and experience a ‘floating state’ from a very deep meditative feeling.”
Wow! The free, elegant way Ms. Benő described her love for Tango left me feeling like a sweet had just melted in my mouth.
Ms Benő continued, talking about her own role.
“I am not a Tango teacher, but a dancer and lover of Tango music. I am interested in collecting Tango Music, and the discoveries of new collections have been my favorite hobby. Over time and continuously, I have acquired musical experience and knowledge to become a tango DJ.”
Very impressed I asked her if there were other things she could tell me more about Tango.
“Tango is a social dance,” she said. “It differs form the dance called ‘Tango’ that you find in ballroom classes. Argentine Tango was invented at the end of the 19th century and was based on the improvisations of Argentine men (compadritos) and European immigrants of the suburbs (barrios) of Buenos Aires. From there here it spread to the rest of the world and had a golden age from 1935 to 1955.”
Ms. Benő then elaborated.
“Places for dancing Tango were know as ‘Milongas,’ while orchestras played live music each night since, of course, there were no CDs or mp3s at the time. However, from 1955 afterwards the Argentine government discouraged the Tango dance for political reasons, leading to all Milonga places to be closed down in Buenos Aires, and the subsequent disappearance of Argentine Tango for about 30 years.”
She continued quite passionately: “Today we live in an age of a Tango Renaissance and Argentine Tango is strongly present in Buenos Aires again as well as other European countries. This rebirth started in the 1990s in Paris and New York. Today tango dancers meet and dance together, even dancing to what has come to be known as Golden Age tango music coming form the period of 1935 to 1955.”
“In tango you dance your feelings; as such it is not choreographed but can have sequences just like feeling do. You can dance love, rage, happiness, pleasure and every other moods. Tango dance is not a demonstration of skilful ability, but that which transforms feelings to steps. It is however not the simple movement of one’s feet or posturing, but it is Argentine and at the same time belongs to all who understand its feelings and Codes.”
I asked Ms Benő what more we might expect at the Tango Evening this Wednesday.
“There will be an Open Forum in which I will talk of how ‘addicted’ I am to tango, how I got into its world, and a history of Tango and tango music. My group of Tangueras and Tangueros will provide a spectacular presentation where they show you the dance, then afterwards everyone present will be invited to try their very first steps of tango.”
She finished with a smile which was inviting us into a world in which tango presented emotions in rhythmic and physical form.
I step forward in eager anticipation of meeting her 3 days time, and entering the world of Tango!