with Graham and Nathalie
For many people, tango is not just a dance. It is defined by the music, the clothes, and the environment in which it is danced as much as by the dance itself. Old musical recordings from the Golden Age of Tango set down by famous tango musicians set the tone and atmosphere, and everyone attending the venues is expected to dress in a way that at least gives a passing nod to the styles of 1950s Buenos Aires. But this approach is not universally appreciated, and for a lot of people new to tango this orthodox traditional atmosphere is what keeps them away. If tango is to survive and grow it needs to learn how to cater to these new people as well as the existing dancers. I talk to a lot of people about tango and encourage them to come along to one of our classes [read more...]
If there is one thing that we have learned over the last couple of years it is that we are remarkably bad at predicting the future. Towards the end of 2019 I invested a large amount of money into sound and lighting equipment for all the festivals and events that I had planned in the "amazing year of 2020" that was just around the corner. Our event calendar had never been so full, and whether you were looking at our schedule as The Tango Underground or the Lacuna Works the year of 2020 looked as though it was going to be something really special. Well, it was something all right, but not quite what any of us had expected. Regardless of whether it turns out that the bigger damage to life and society came from the virus or from the way we tried to mitigate it (I know [read more...]
This is the first week that we have been able to run classes in forever, and it was a great feeling to get back into our venues. Well, one of our old venues and one new one... but more about that later. It was great to see so many familiar faces there - as well as some new people who somehow heard about us during the down-time - and you are all very very welcome. It is strange that in some ways it feels like we have hardly been away, and yet in others it's almost impossible to remember what classes were like in the BC era*. Coming back was something that was very familiar, and yet getting ready on Wednesday afternoon for that first evening class in South Norwood was almost as stressful as getting ready for my first ever class in Bletchingley all those years ago. I [read more...]
A year of no social interaction... a year of no dancing or physical contact of any kind. The arguments will run and run as to whether this approach was the best way to go or if it caused more harm than it prevented, but whatever the outcome of these debates might be, we are finally in sight of the end. And that means that real in-person dancing is back on the calendar. If you have been listening to The Dance Show on Jivebeat Radio then you will know that more and more dance organisers have begun to release re-opening dates and announce that classes and events are coming back to life. Some places have re-opened already with a few restrictions in place to comply with the current regulations, and many more are planning a grand re-opening on the week of the 21st June. We are delighted to be [read more...]
Well, that was a year. Normally in the first newsletter or blog post after Christmas I would write about all the things that have happened over the last twelve months. I would talk about the festivals we have attended, the concerts we have put on, the achievements and high spots of the year, and what we had planned for the future. But this has been 2020, and as we all know there has been nothing happening anywhere since March. It was the year that dancing stopped. This shutdown has hit the dance and events sectors particularly hard. They are arts industries, and so they are seen as â€˜less importantâ€™ than other areas by some people and have received very little support. But for many of us our art is not just something we do, it is what we are, and to have that taken away from us by [read more...]
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