The Women’s International Club, Delhi provides a unique platform for women living in Delhi to experience various cultures of the world. It accepts both Indian and women from international countries, with different professional backgrounds; and organizes various activities every month related to books, cuisine, travel, culture, and health, among others. I recently attended a workshop on Argentinian Tango by Alessandra Ceresa.
Pictured with Alessandra Cervesa and Romina Romano
Tango originated in Buenos Aires in the early 20th century as a medium for European immigrants to display their longing for their native homelands. This partner dance has had a tumultuous history. The golden period was between the two World Wars, before the dictatorship in Argentina in the 60s and 70s ensured its complete demise. The 80s saw a resurgence when many young people learnt the craft from the original masters. The rest of the world woke up to this beautiful dance form, and invited skilled tango dancers to perform in their countries. Tango is now protected by UNESCO.
Picture courtesy: http://www.pinterest.com
Tango music was the first innovation, and the dance form followed as a natural consequence. In its purest form it requires tons of skill, a deep connection with your partner and an extensive understanding of the music. Tango socials or milongas are the ideal place for dancers to show off their skills. The complete improvisation on the spot makes it thrilling and addictive.
Ceresa and Romano performing for the Women’s International Club
Milongas usually have 4 different songs with each one lasting 12 minutes. Partners pick each other through gestures and change with every song. Despite the sexual nuances of the dance, in modern times, showing off one’s dancing skills prevails over the desire to be in a close embrace with a potential stranger. The beauty of this dance is that it cuts across all social barriers of class and age and truly brings people together.
Dance is the shortcut to happiness
Alessandra Ceresa is an Italian tango dancer living in India. She has been practicing for the last 15 years and now takes private lessons alongside organizing tango socials or milongas in Delhi. After educating us on the history of this dance form, she demonstrated the dance along with fellow tango teacher Romina Romano. Her vast knowledge and beautiful movements had us enthralled.
An enthralled audience
Ceresa shared some interesting observations about the way people treat this dance. She felt in South India, where tango is very popular, the younger generation danced beautifully without concern. In Delhi, people have many reservations about personal space which she has had to work around to teach the form properly! The largest tango festival in India is organized annually at Auroville in Pondicherry.
The dance begins very modestly….
The dance is led by the man or designated leader who improvises each movement, and leads the woman by communicating through the upper bodies tied in an embrace. Though it seems like the footwork is of utmost importance, it has little role to play.
…..And becomes a flurry of beautifully fluid movements
The next milonga is set to take place on April 9 and I’m looking forward to learning this beautiful dance. Would you like to join me?
Next Tango Social/ Milonga Venue: The Junction, 21- A, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Green Park, New Delhi
Date: Monday April 9
Time: 8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Free and open to public
Contact Alessandra Ceresa for private tango lessons here: +91 9810112317
Contact Romina Romano for private tango lessons here: +91 9560744253 or at email@example.com