I’ve wanted to post a list of useful tango resources for a long time now, so here it is. The list is not all inclusive, of course, but contains links to sites (mostly blogs) that have been useful to me in the past and that I return to on a regular basis.
Tango and Chaos
I’ve written about Rick McGarrey’s site before and I want to remind readers of its importance here. This is not so much a blog (it hasn’t been updated in several years) but a mix of tango history, instruction, and personal observation. McGarrey has very definite opinions about tango and its practitioners and is not afraid to express them. His personal bias is clearly toward the traditional milongas and milongueros of Buenos Aires, which is fine with me. The site includes a large number of illustrations, original diagrams, and videos, all of which are discussed in detail. There are interviews with several milongueros and stories of their adventures, together with a running commentary by the author about his own life in Buenos Aires. It’s all very well written, amusing, and extremely informative. If you’re new to tango, this is the place to be, if you’re not, this is still the place to be.
One of my favorite tango Web sites. It was the first site I read that provided an in-depth look at some of the underlying principles of Argentine tango by someone who has thought long and hard about his own development as a dancer. Tango Principles contains a wealth of information about some of the basic elements of tango and includes essential information on topics such as body conditioning and musicality. There is an extensive and highly informative description of the learning process in tango and the psychological implications of the dance when one fully engages with its possibilities. Tango principles was very influential to my own development, especially when I was just starting out. It was one of the things that kept me going when I was beginning to have serious doubts about continuing and I found Mr. Maloratsky’s passion and sincerity inspiring. If you’re just starting out in tango, it’s essential reading and if you’re an experienced dancer, it’s still worth reading.
Helaine Treitman Tango
Helaine has been dancing and teaching tango for many years, first in Italy, and now in the United States. She spends part of the year in Buenos Aires, where she coaches students. I’ve been reading Helaine’s blog for over a year now and wish I had discovered it when I first began learning tango. The beauty of Helaine Treitman’s blog is that she provides detailed responses to everyday problems from the perspective of an experienced dancer and long-time coach. Her comments, insights, and advice are directed primarily to men, but her knowledge about women’s technique is just as informative and just as relevant. There are a number of links to performances in her posts, and her analyses are worth reading. For anyone learning tango, leader or follower, this is an essential stop on your journey.
This site bills itself as “The Voice of Tango Argentino for North America.” Tango Voice is an extensive, wide ranging blog that was begun in 2009. It’s stated intention is “to counter the prevailing tendency to misrepresent tango Argentino in North America. It will provide a clearer perspective on tango Argentino, and the differences between tango practiced in Buenos Aires and the predominant representation of ‘Argentine tango’ in North America. Strategies for promoting a culturally accurate practice of tango Argentino will be addressed.” The blog contains entries about various aspects of contemporary tango, its history, its music, how it is practiced, and how it differs from traditional practice in Buenos Aires. The entries are often lengthy, highly detailed, extremely informative; several of them run to a few thousand words. Highly recommended for its scope, its detail, and the amount of research on tango the author has conducted.
I recently discovered “Tango Breath,” a site run by Eric and Susannah Gebhart. What is wonderful about their site is the abundance of exercises and discussions on posture and balance. They include essays on straightening and correcting our posture and balance, relaxation, and breathing. The essays are illustrated, well written, and easy to follow.
The authors describe themselves this way:
Eric and Susannah began teaching TangoBreath in March 2011, after over six months of development, incorporating influences from their backgrounds, including yoga, martial arts, ballet, weight training, and other dance forms. They are grateful for the instruction and inspiration provided by many of their tango teachers and role models.
Highly recommended for anyone, at any stage of their tango adventure, who wants to help strengthen or correct their posture or walk, or improve their sense of balance.
This site is dedicated to the “milongas and milongueros of Buenos Aires.” This blog has been active since 2008 and is written from the perspective of an American dancer who has lived in Buenos Aires for many years. It is filled with practical information about the city, where to stay, how to travel, and where to dance. The author includes interviews with a number of the older milongueras and milonguros from Buenos Aires, provides descriptions of the local milongas, and advice about local customs. Even if you’re not planning to visit Buenos Aires soon, it’s a very useful site, providing useful insights into how tango is practiced and experienced in its birthplace.
A tango blog written by Keith Elshaw. Based in Montréal, Keith is actively engaged in the restoration of early tango music for DJs. However, the blog itself is much more than this. There are a number of guest authors presented and you’ll find a considerable amount of information here for beginners. There are entries on dancing and technique, music and musicality, tango terms, orchestras, singers, and famous dancers. A very useful resource, and if you’re a DJ, probably an essential one.
Begun in 2009 by a German dancer, Tango Therapist is an informative, opinionated, and enlightening site about tango and its various aspects. The author is a musician and there are a number of entries on music and musicality. However, the perspective here seems to be one of investigating the social dynamics of tango, and there are several articles (short essays, really) on the codigos of the milonga, the cabeceo and mirada, and general tango etiquette. It’s a large site and I have only scratched the surface but everything I’ve read so far has been amusing and informative.
Not a blog but an online magazine about tango and its practitioners. However, each issue contains guest essays on various aspects of tango and they are worth reading. It also includes a list of current tango events worldwide and interviews with professional dancers and teachers.
Verotango is Veronica Toumanova’s Web site, not a blog per se. However, the site contains a collection of very interesting essays on tango, mostly from the viewpoint of psychology or personal development. The author has been dancing and teaching for a number of years and is very familiar with the learning process in tango and its ups and downs. She provides valuable insights into the psychological and interpersonal dynamics that contribute or, sometimes, hinder the learning process. I’ve quoted her in my own writing and recommend her articles to anyone who is interested in more than the mechanics of tango.
This is a large, somewhat rambling, blog begun in 2008, so there are several years of archived articles available. There’s an extensive list of labels on a wide range of subjects: tango technique, etiquette, milongas, well-known dancers, music and musicality, tango history, and various other bits and pieces. Another rich, useful resource. The site also includes links to other tango blogs and Web sites of interest. I’ve only just started reading this site, but it’s chock full of information.
Sharna Fabiano Tango
Another Web site by a tango teacher and performer with several cogent articles on various aspects of tango. The author views tango as a holistic practice and her articles approach the dance as a tool for personal growth and development. Interesting reading.
This is an instructional Web site by a “male Argentine Tango dancer.” It contains some interesting descriptions of basic tango techniques and some detailed instructions on various elements of the dance. Contains good descriptions of basic walking technique, the embrace, navigation, and rhythm. A good reference for beginning students.
Tango, Our Dance
Not a blog but a basic tutorial on tango, broken up into a number of chapters. Written by Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart, who are tango teachers. Some interesting tips about basic technique. Includes photographs.
The History of Tango
Christine Denniston’s Web site. Basically, a presentation of her book The Meaning of Tango. Very strong on the history and development of early tango.
milonga.me – The Tango Newspaper
A multilingual (Spanish, English, French) on-line newspaper about local events in the worldwide tango community. Section headings include: education, arts and entertainment, leisure, society, world, and Argentina. There are archives of videos and photographs, articles on tango venues and classes, and interviews with leading practitioners. Very nicely laid out, uncluttered, and easy to follow.
Tango Stuff in New York City
A very useful Web site compiled by Gayle Madeira to help you find whatever it is you need to complete your tango experience. Tango Stuff includes lists of places to buy shoes and clothing (men and women), and where to get them repaired. Where to eat when you’re not dancing and any special sales. It’s a great site for out-of-town visitors and a wonderful addition to your list of useful references.
030Tango bills itself as “the number one media platform for Argentine Tango in Europe.” Organized out of Berlin, the site is a collection of links to tango festivals in Europe, other blogs, lists of teachers, and a collection of interesting contemporary videos. The site is nicely organized and easy to navigate. Their mission statement describes what they’re about:
030tango will be a unique, reliable, and entertaining service made [by] tango afficionados for sophisticated tango dancers all over the world. We use our Website, YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram to keep our customers up to date. We produce and show high-class Videos of Maestros, interviews and tango projects, we provide backgound informations about International Tango Events, and cover many aspects of tango dancing, travelling, learning, music, and more, too.
Tango Festivals around the World
A Web site listing major tango festivals around the world, arranged chronologically. An excellent resource for the tango globetrotter. The site lists dates for the events, a brief summary, location, and status. There is also an info link that will provide additional information and a map to help locate the event. Tango Festivals includes forward-looking information for festivals that will take place in the forthcoming months. Additionally, the parent site for Tango Festivals can be found here:
The Web site, available in several languages, includes links to sources of music, discographies, events, people (musicians, DJs, teachers), videos, shoes, and more.
More tango festivals
This is a new site (to me). It is provided in the form of a PDF with active links to tango festivals around the world. The listings are forward looking and contain information on festivals taking place throughout the year. Each entry contains the name and dates of the festival, a link to the Web site, and a list of teachers who will be giving workshops. All in all, a very handy and thoroughgoing look at what’s going on in tango around the world.