This week's tanda delivers a powerful lyrical narrative for the mature audience.
Troilo recorded with Roberto Goyeneche throughout 1950s and 1960s. It was a time of transition, one that would ultimately lead to a collapse of danceable tango. An era that nonetheless produced some of the most beautiful expressions of tango esthetics.
Dancing to latter-days Troilo rewards me in multiple dimensions. The flow is slower, at the normal walking tempo or below, with frequent rubatos that prevent me from falling into stereotypes. Indeed, as the leader I must focus deeply, be aware of each beat and go with the phrase as dictated by the singer.
Yes, I must be "in the zone" and cannot just walk through such tanda. The prize I receive is being able to co-create this immensely powerful music with my steps. There's no rush; with proper concentration, I don't need to employ any fancy figures, just good walking and turns.
Anyone can. Or rather, anyone with sufficient patience and an open mind. I am aware that many leaders are only comfortable with the regular beat of (a subset of) Golden age music. Well, so be it. The dancing community can only grow, in many meanings of this word, if the musicality of all involved grows as well.
- Garúa (1962) - D minor
- El metejón (1963) - C major alternating with C minor
- Tamar | Marta (1963) - G major alternating with G minor
- El motivo (1961) - D minor
I chose Garúa to open the tanda as it is a beloved tune with a super-strong pull. The placement of El metejón and Tamar | Marta was driven primarily by "gut feel", and I liked the harmonic progression better. As the closer, El motivo delivers the strongest emotional punch in my view.
On aspect I'd always look for would be the musical maturity of my dancers. I imagine they'd need to be properly warmed-up for this tanda and that they would shows signs of wanting to indulge in slow-motion lyricism.
Other than that, no strong opinion to share.
Honestly, I am re-examining my previously held beliefs these days, and don't want to put this tanda in a "special" silo.
If I were a hard-core traditional DJ, I would only use this and similar tandas later in the evening, if at all.
Nowadays, I am experimenting with mixes of all tango periods within a single evening such that even new music and the 50s appear much earlier than in my previous sets.
image credit Herman Sanchez