Tango is not only a fascinating dance, but also a fascinating culture, idea, lifestyle, and philosophy. In many ways, tango is a metaphor of life. The pursuit of tango is the pursuit of connection, love, beauty, harmony and humanity, i.e., an idealism that is not consistent with the dehumanizing reality of the modern world. The world divides us as individuals, but tango unites us as a species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc., but interconnected and interdependent members of the human family. We are humanists. Tango calls us to tear down the walls, to build bridges, and to regain humanity through connection, cooperation and compromise. If you share this conviction, please join the conversation and let your voice be heard, which is urgently needed and long overdue.

Together we can awaken the world.




December 11, 2012

Private Whispers in the Milongas, by Sara Melul


The milongueros, who are the true personalities of the milonga, have the custom of quietly talking with their partner between one tango and another. These whispers sometimes knit a plot that becomes a love story. Others are memories or anecdotes of one night in the milonga. At times they remain just a lovely conversation. The important thing is that, for us who come to dance, these conversations form an essential part of the warm, embracing atmosphere and one of those most important and gratifying moments. Surely there exist many thousands of such examples which different women receive daily in the milongas.

  • How well we dance together! You have eyes that I want to eat. I dance better with you; you awaken the creativity in me.
  • For me dancing tango is like flying, to surrender to you as a dream, and to enjoy it.
  • I am going to tell you something that perhaps you will not like: The brightness of your eyes makes me blind.
  • Do you always come here? Where else do you go to dance? I ask in order to follow you until the end of the world.
  • Goddess, if I were God, I would have you in my kingdom, but I have you in my arms.
  • I congratulate you because with you one can dance very well.
  • How I enjoy dancing with you! Each tanda passes by in a breath!
  • When we dance together I feel your body.
  • You have a tiny waist that I am afraid will break.
  • To dance with you is like a dream…how can I not be very happy, I have the best woman, the best music, what more do I need?
  • I am enchanted with you, you dance like the goddess, beautiful, free, nothing worries you!
  • After dancing the first tango with you, how could I leave now?
  • They made this tango for you. It is called “to the grand doll.”
  • Since I met you there is no other woman for me! I will come next week just to dance with you…
  • You dance divinely…do you understand me? One only would want to know, to touch you and dance all night…
  • You are something unbelievable. One can dance with you all night without being bored.
  • I want to dance with you and catch your perfume!
  • I want only to enjoy you in this dance…we will not talk. I am jealous when you do not dance with me…
  • It is incredible how you dance. You are a monument to femininity.

Contributed by Sara Melul, El chamuyo en las milongas

8 comments:

  1. I am very new to tango and haven’t gone to a milonga yet but wow! I thought the height of intimacy was when my partner whispered "Yes" softly when I followed him during our dance class.

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  2. Hi Paul, I like to read your tango blog. I wonder if you can write something that reflect my situation. I am a married woman. I have good relationship with my husband. My husband and I started learning tango together but he soon dropped out because he had no time and is not addicted. My husband is very supportive of me dancing tango. However, I don't feel comfortable that I enjoy it so much. I avoid "romanticism". This doesn't seem to hurt the quality of my dance because I am "musical", but I do have inner struggle all along. I wonder if you know how others resolve this issue. Thank you.

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  3. Hi Anonymous, I think your question is whether it is moral for you to enjoy decent intimacy in tango with men other than your husband? Or, is there such thing as decent intimacy? If you believe any physical contact with men other than your husband is indecent and only your husband may touch you, then you should stop dancing—and not just dancing, but also hugging or shaking hands with other men, or seeing a male doctor who is not your husband. If you believe shaking hands or seeing a doctor is okay, then why dancing tango is not? And why just men? If your thought were dirty, you could be dirty with anyone. If you have a clear conscience, then why a decent and healthy social activity makes you feel morally uneasy? I am amazed by the logic of such hypocrisy that tries to deprive you of the fun that millions of married and unmarried women are enjoying. Nobody can judge you except yourself. Only you know whether tango is good (including morally good) for you. Paul

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  4. Hi Anonymous, when I said “tango requires romanticism,” I do not mean one has to have a romantic feeling toward one’s partner. I was referring to one’s ability to be imaginative and emotional in the dance. You don’t have to have a romantic feeling to dance tango, but if you dance tango emotionlessly, I don’t think that can still be called tango. You just use your partner to do gymnastics. Please forgive me for not publishing your answer because I prefer not to use this space as a forum. But I do appreciate your inspiring comments. Thank you!

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  5. Intriguing subject!
    Sincerely I've never used any of the above phrases, and I don't think to use them. They are too confidential, romantic and...rhetoric. They represent what to use for approaching a woman you are interested to. But I go to milonga only to dance tango.
    I'm single and I think that this is a preferred condition. When I dance with a woman I think that she is with/for me for a tanda, and I have to protect, to enjoy her, to surprise her (if possible). If she is mentally free it's possible to communicate and deepen our dance, and elaborate our own tango, different from the other tango I can dance. Of course only if she wants.
    If I was engaged I'd have fighting thoughts in my mind during the dance and this is not good for Tango. Sadly I've noticed the different way to dance of some women after their engagement (someone disappears...).
    Thank you and ciao.

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  6. I enjoy the blog extremely and have many similar observations and feelings about tango. However beeing a woman and dancing in Poland I can only say that where I am many of the abovementioned examples of "wispers" would be considered at leat silly if not inapropriate or irrespective. At least that is what I can say from my own experience... but what do I know ;) .

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  7. What in one culture is silly may not be so in another. Although the culture that produced tango is often not fully understood by people outside of that culture, the fact that tango becomes a global phenomenon suggests that people worldwide are rethinking of their own values. The gap between the newly found attraction and old habit may affect how tango is danced in different cultures for a while, but eventually the culture that produced tango will triumph, because that is what makes tango unmatched.

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  8. Words can only embellish what movement and feeling demonstrates, elaborates, elucidates... life unfolds and tango has a way of exposing our soul Connections....

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