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June 09, 2008

Tango of the 70s and 80s

In Jackie Wong's interview with Gloria and Rodolfo Dinzel, she gets them to talk about when they met and what tango was like in the 1970s and 1980s.

I clipped two quotes that I have been mulling over.

With the politics at that time, the young people were very rebellious. In our era, when they killed Che, the men were rebellious against the politics. So they wore long hair.

I was the first ballerina at the Teatro Colon but I moved into Tango because I am Argentine and Tango is Argentina.
--Gloria Dinzel

The way she refers to Che by his first name, the idea that Che is the explanation for men wearing long hair, and counterculture and hippy rebellion. At first it shocked me, and then it moved me. When I meet Argentine people through tango who were touched by that period, it is unavoidable to consider that tango, though apolitical itself, becomes a medium of individual political expression. And I realize that the generation who nurtured the revival of tango in in Buenos Aires was the cognate of a generation in other countries who participated in protest movements, civil rights demonstrations, and an international crisis of conscience about political oppression and injustice.

[T]he Tango is a dance that fosters liberty and it encourages people to come together and do their own interpretation of the dance... and this is the definition of democracy. My liberty ends in the moment that your liberty starts.  So everyone on the dance floor can do their own thing until it interferes with someone else.  Therefore a milonga is a great school for democracy and liberty,  if you look at it this way, as we mentioned during class.  It is my opinion that the military felt the same way.  In the history of Argentina, when the military has control, Tango is repressed.  When there is democracy, Tango grows and prospers.  There is evidence of this in the numbers.

--Rodolfo Dinzel

That is one reason why rebellion is in the DNA of tango.

Posted by joegrohens at June 9, 2008 05:27 PM


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