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Blue Monday? 09-01-2017

For those who struggled to get out of bed this morning ...

A triple bill of Monday, rain & tube strike! We thought you might need THREE things to cheer you up this morning:

1) ALL Our Tango Classes Re-Start this Week!

People often tell us our tango classes are the highlight of their week.

Check out our weekly schedule to find the class for your level.

2) Alejandra Mantiñan is Back!

Alejandra Mantiñan will be giving two inspiring workshops with us on 21st & 22nd January.

Alejandra Mantiñan​ is one of the leading tango dancers of her time and has inspired a generation with her unique style. Alejandra has 30 years tango experience and is world-renowned for both her dancing and teaching ability. She will be giving just one performance during her visit: with David at our Winter Ball.

For more info: click here.

3) Our 10th Anniversary Winter Ball Is Really Soon!

Just under two weeks to go until what will surely be the tango event of the year! Tickets are selling fast so don't leave it to the last minute to get one!

For more info: click here.

Has this helped at all? We hope so! Let the sun shine bright in your thoughts today!

Picture this.

You meet someone for the first time. Music is playing. He asks you to dance and you accept. You step out onto the dance floor and together you start to dance.

Somehow you understand everything he is going to do as if you were telepathic. You move together in a complex series of movements, twisting and turning, losing yourself in the music. You are - both literally and metaphorically - swept off your feet. A casual bystander assumes that this must be a meticulously-rehearsed choreography but you and your partner know that you are complete strangers.

I’m sure this sounds like something that could only happen in a scene from an old MGM movie. And as I grew up on these movies this scenario was something that as a teenager I would play out in my head.

Then I discovered tango. And it played out in real life too.

Not surprising then that so many people (like me) fall completely and utterly under the spell of tango.

Intoxicating as it is to be part of such an intense connection, the spectacle of two people improvising together is also quite beautiful and exciting to behold.

I can spend hours gazing at the dance floor watching the couples dance by. Every day folk, who dance tango for pleasure, not professionally. But most of all I love to see a professional couple give an improvised performance and watch the story unfold before my eyes.

And this is what happened in October when David performed with Alejandra Mantiñan at Negracha Tango Club.

via GIPHY

The very first time that Alejandra and David had danced together was the day before the performance. For just half an hour.

It was exhilarating to see what can come out of pure improvisation between two dancers who barely know each other. It was simply amazing to watch a creative process live in front of hundreds of people.

via GIPHY

Every improvisation is unique. Each individual coming to the dance partnership is unique. The chemistry between each of those individuals is unique and what happens when they come together in that one moment of time will never again be replicated.

This, people, is what tango is all about! Pure improvisation.

via GIPHY

We are so excited that Alejandra and David will be performing again at our Winter Ball on Saturday 21st January. We can’t wait to see what they will create for us this time!

Alejandra Mantinan is a world-famous tango dancer of over 30 years experience. She is known for her creativity, in particular her ability to adapt to many different styles of dance and to add expressive and often inventive decorations to her dance.

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

For more information and to book tickets for the Winter Ball: click here.

We are completely thrilled to welcome Marianela Nuñez to our Winter Ball again this year.

Marianela is one of the biggest stars of the Royal Ballet. She has performed all the leading roles in the classical, dramatic and contemporary repertory.

Marianela was named Best Female Dancer at the 2005 and 2012 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and in 2013 won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

She has appeared as a guest artist with companies including American Ballet Theatre, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Australian Ballet, La Scala, Milan, Ballet Estable del Teatro Colón and Teatro Argentino de La Plata.

Here she is in the lead role of Don Quixote with ballet star Carlos Acosta, who she partnered on many occasions.

via GIPHY

She has enjoyed acclaim with many prominent critics. Of her performance of the lead in Swan Lake, they have written:

"... every gesture sings, every step is luminous with emotion. The result is sublime".

"Her approach to one of the most difficult parts of the 19th-century repertoire is simply exemplary, and I have no doubt that her incandescent and technically flawless interpretation is destined to be long remembered in history, along with those of other unique artists."

"...[her interpretation] confirmed her indisputable supremacy as the ideal 21st century interpreter of the classic. Her rendition of Odette’s sadness and fear is something that should be recorded for posterity."

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

Last year at our Winter Ball she stunned our guests when she gave a surprise performance. She was partnered by Alejandro Parente, who is a principal at Theatre Colon, Buenos Aires. They performed a modern ballet to a piece by Astor Piazzolla "A Buenos Aires". Just perfect for the tango-loving audience!

via GIPHY

Marianela was born in Argentina but has spent most of her adult life with the Royal Ballet in London. She met David in Ballet School in Buenos Aires. Both David and Marianela know how it feels to live far away from Argentina and both feel passionately about the charitable causes supported by our Winter Ball and APARU.

We are so happy and grateful that Marianela and Alejandro will be performing for us again at the Winter Ball.

For more information and tickets click here.

It was amazing to be back on the dance floor again on Boxing Day when we gave our first performance since the birth of our baby in July.

The event took place in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall, with dancing for all, live music and two dance performances.

For those of you who missed it, here is a youtube video:

Our next performance will be on Saturday 21st January at our annual Winter Ball in the Old Finsbury Town Hall. We really hope you can make it!

It's that time of year when we wind down all our classes and take a short break from tango.

It's been another amazing year for us at Tango Movement.

I enjoyed teaching classes right up until the night before my second baby was born in July. It was a special feeling to dance with the baby inside me and I didn't feel tempted to give up for a second! After some time off on maternity leave, I was back teaching classes by mid-September.

This year, we've worked hard on developing our weekend workshop themes, aiming always to help our students grow both technically and artistically, and to bring out the very best in them. We've continued to focus on creating the warm, nurturing atmosphere that our classes have become known for, so that we all feel that we are much more than a tango school ... more a tango family!

Highlights of this year have been our participation in the Che Tango Festival, in which I danced 7 months pregnant, our students' wonderful performance at the UK Tango Championship, our amazing sun-blessed garden party and, of course, hosting tango legend Alejandra Mantiñan for workshops over two weekends.

And how can we forget Alejandra and David's exhilarating, improvised performance at Negracha Tango Club in October? Two dancers who had scarcely danced with each other before stepped out onto the dance floor and exhibited an immediate connection and chemistry. Just like that. Magic. This, people, is what tango is all about!

Thank you everyone for making 2016 what it was and Tango Movement what it is. It is a never-ending source of happiness for us. As we get ready for our 10th anniversary year (gulp!), please enjoy this video of our favourite parts of 2016.

We'd like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year, wherever you may be spending it.

Wishing you health, happiness and a lot of tango in 2017! We can't wait to get started!

With much love,

David & Kim

A question I get asked a lot is what complimentary activity will most help me progress in tango.

There's no doubt that parallels can be found between most forms of movement, whether it is pilates, martial arts or even golf (or so I'm told!). And you may have noticed that students with some kind of background in another discipline usually improve at a faster rate than those who have not.

I'm always keen to stress that complimentary disciplines alone won't make you a great tango dancer. Dancing tango will make you a great tango dancer! A martial arts expert who has never taken a tango class, cannot dance tango! But they can definitely be a great help.

Everyone is different, but I just love ballet for my tango. It has given me a greater understanding of how my body works, improved my posture, control, co-ordination, musicality and strength. And I could go on!

Plus, I secretly do it because I love it and not just to improve my tango!

For over 5 years, I have been taking weekly private classes with the most wonderful teacher. With a gentle personality and a huge wealth of knowledge, her classes are holistic yet precise and her approach demanding yet incredibly nurturing. Her classes have been a tremendous help to me - not only improving my ballet but also - indirectly - my tango too.

I thought it was time to share my secret with my students! Too often they tell me they'd like to try ballet but feel intimidated by large ballet classes where they are an anonymous one of many.

Whether you have zero ballet experience, did ballet as a child or regularly take ballet classes as an adult, you will love Diana's teaching. And with only 6 places available, you will receive personal attention and - perhaps for the first time - feel at home in an adult ballet class.

The class will be a regular ballet class (no tango, no heels!) but with a strong focus on posture, balance and alignment. We will be running one taster session this year but hope to run the class on a weekly basis in the New Year.

When: Saturday 10th December 2016

Time: 4:30 - 5:30 pm

Where: Studio Movement, 6th Floor, Templeton House, 33-34 Chiswell Street, Moorgate EC1Y 4SF (Moorgate, Old Street, Barbican and Liverpool Street tubes)

Price: £15 per person

Places are limited to six - and three of them have gone already! - so please contact us if you would like to come.

Nights Out 16-09-2016

A lot of you tell us how much you love the atmosphere of our classes. So much so that they become as much a chance to catch up with friends and soak up the feel-good feeling, as to learn to dance tango.

That's why we organise Nights Out every two months or so. Our Nights Out are a golden opportunity for us all to all meet up outside of class and together do what we most love doing: tango.

We choose some of the best "milongas" (tango clubs) in town for our venues. Sometimes we give a performance during the evening, sometimes just the pre-milonga class and sometimes we simply hang out with you al!

With Kim back from maternity leave, now seems like an ideal time to plan our next Night Out. Watch this space for news of our next one, coming really soon!

UPDATE: Our next night out is our Christmas Party on Friday 25th November and guess what, you're invited! Click here for all the information. We hope you'll join us - it's going to be a great night.

A new series of Strictly Come Dancing is due to start on the BBC tonight. And no doubt this year, as in previous years, the programme will serve up its own particular version of Argentine tango.

And there will be - as there always are - tango aficionados up in arms about it on social media. Equally, however, there will be many of us who have wearily grown accustomed to seeing our beloved tango misrepresented in the mainstream media. And other than a brief moment of irritation or a small squirm of embarrassment, we will move swiftly on to the next story in our news feed.

But, as one dance competition is about to begin, another very different one comes to a close.

In Buenos Aires, the Tango World Championship, El Mundial de Tango, has just crowned its latest champions in “tango salon” (dance floor tango) and “tango escenario” (stage tango).

Watching the footage of the final, I find myself wondering what Strictly fans would make of it. Because the difference between the winning tango and what they’ll see on Strictly, could not be greater.

El Mundial de Tango is the only competition that has any weight at all in the world of Argentine Tango. And contrary to popular belief, competitions in Argentine tango are not considered “the be all and end all”. Indeed they are a relatively recent innovation.

Many tango dancers think competitions can stifle our art form, turning it into a box-ticking exercise. By conforming to the rules or what the competitors think the judges are looking for, competitions risk creating uniformity and banality, inhibiting creativity and individuality.

But there was nothing uniform or banal about the winners of the stage competition this year.

What would a Strictly fan make of it? Well, I’m guessing they might detect a significant lack of bling and plunging necklines. Not that I’m anti-bling - I have succumbed to a fair few sequinned dresses in my time - but tango is so much more classy and complex than the cliché.

A Strictly fan might also miss the slicked-back hair of the classic tango Lothario. Our man is a foppish blond, bucking yet another stereotype.

But perhaps most striking of all, throughout the couple dance with a wrought iron bird cage with a red balloon inside. Around it, in their arms, even attached to their feet, the bird cage is the focal point of their choreography.

What’s it all about? Well, without some knowledge of the music, it is admittedly a little baffling. However, in Argentina, the piece - "Balada Por Un Loco" by Astor Piazzolla - is perhaps as well-known as “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and no less surreal in its meaning.

“Love me this way, crazy, crazy, crazy … Climb up to this tender madness in me. Put on this wig of larks and fly! Fly with me now! Come, fly, come!”

You may love the choreography, you may hate it. You may like aspects of it - ideas, movements, musical interpretation - but not everything. You might respect its individuality but find that it fails to capture your heart. Indeed, you may dislike anything that isn’t purest the form of improvised tango salon.

But there’s one thing I think even the harshest critics will agree on. The choreography is different, original and innovative.

When I watch this video, I see dancers following their hearts and giving an honest interpretation of the form. They dance how they want to dance, without worrying about the judges’ scorecards - and it pays dividends.

It’s refreshing to see individuality, creativity and imagination applauded in a world of plastic commercialism and stereotypes. By embracing originality, I feel the judges of the Mundial did something important. I believe - and hope - that they have opened the door to a good deal more creativity and individuality in future competitions. I’m excited to see how tango will grow as a consequence and what the Mundial will give us in years to come.

When we came to London nearly 10 years ago, we had one purpose: to create our Argentine Tango school and to impart our knowledge from our years in Buenos Aires to the very best of our ability.

But what we didn't expect was to create something else, something bigger: a whole community of like-minded people. Over the years, we have seen life-long friendships form, relationships blossom, even children born! All because Tango Movement brought them together.

So it seemed to us that it was high time we organised a party - not a tango party (we have organised many of these!) but a social one - to bring together all our tango students - both those who have recently joined us and those who have been coming for years. And even those who we haven't seen in ages but will always be part of our "tango family".

We knew we were being optimistic but the recent good weather inspired us to throw a garden party at our home. Thankfully, the tango gods were smiling down on us and we experienced a very rare thing in this country: a sunny bank holiday!

With invitations sent out just a week before (we were monitoring the weather forecasts!) and many of our students away over the Bank Holiday, we were amazed to welcome over 75 people over the course of the day. We tried to invite everyone we could think of by going through our class lists. We just hope we remembered most of you!

And inevitably, even at a "non-tango tango party", there was quite a bit of dancing! With tango music playing, there was no stopping some people, even if it was barefooted on the grass!

The day was so fabulous that we now hope that - weather permitting - this will be a permanent feature on our tango calendar! So look out for the Tango Movement Garden Party: Edition 2 ... coming next summer!

Thank you everyone who came and made the day so special. For those who weren't there for whatever reason, we hope to see you next year!

I just loved receiving this video recently of our lovely students, Ed and Katie, dancing tango at their wedding.

Ed and Katie have been coming to our classes for years but it is a very different thing learning to improvise (as we do in our classes) to learning a choreography. Not to mention the feeling of getting up and dancing in front of a big group of people. Yes, we try to tell ourselves that that group is made up of only family and friends who love us and think anything we do is wonderful, but somehow those butterflies can be hard to shake.

Ed and Katie dance so well in this video that you’d never guess that their choreography did in fact turn into an improvisation when a technical hiccup meant the the tango went on for 20 seconds longer than expected. Can you tell? I couldn’t! I guess all those tango classes learning to improvise paid off!

Congratulations Ed and Katie for your beautifully elegant wedding dance. And congratulations on your marriage. We wish you many years of love, happiness and tango together!

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