Play the word association game with "tango" and the response will almost always be "dance." When Piazzolla entered the musical world, he wrote music to which tango was danced. But as his compositional skills increased through his studies with Alberto Ginastera, his arrangements of tango music progressed to the point where they confused dancers. The Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, reports of an occasion where dancer hearing his arrangement of the vintage tango Inspiración, " .. froze. Some moved closer to the band to listen. Others simply left." When he began composing in the nuevo tango style, dancers rejected the music as undanceable. Piazzolla had separated "tango" from "dance."
How times have changed. Today, Piazzolla's music inspires many to dance and we have three interesting improvisational dance videos featured today. All the dancers are remarkably uninhibited. All make me smile. With no better organizing principle available, they are arranged by age of dancer.
First we have young Luis Henrique, the most energetic of the dancers, dancing to a Piazzolla arrangement of the vintage tango, Malena. Second, two very expressive Japanese dancers, whose names Google translates as Ugazin and Kako, dancing to Libertango played by the group Ensemble Green. And finally, an unnamed dancer dancing, again to Libertango, in a most unlikely location: the grounds of the private residence of the assassinated Rwandan President Habyarimana. In 2008, that residence which is located in Kanombe, a suburb of the capital, Kigali, was converted into a museum in commemoration of the Rwandese genocide, the Rwandese culture and the Second Republic. There must be a story behind this dance and I hope some reader of this blog will eventually share it with us.
If the videos do not appear below, click here for Luis Henrique, here for Ugazin and Kako, and here for the dance from Rwanda.
To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.