Tango Argentino > Is Tango a declining matter?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by itwillhappen, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Just a question for facts, for perceptions, for new trends if any.
    I'm not really interested in assumed root causes trying to charge someone.
  2. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

    I just happened to see this earlier tonight:


    Here are the three key sentences:

    Today I ... found only 78 milongas now listed. ... I came across a list of milongas that I compiled in March 2000, according to the magazines. There are 135 milongas on that list.

    A question that springs to mind, are smaller venues merging into larger venues? Is it possible there are even more people doing Tango but in fewer places?
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    There appear to be less listed milongas, but there are also unlisted milongas that are more private, (not for tourists). So if you aren't friends with the right people, you'll never know about them, (you'll need a local with you, to get in).
    Mladenac likes this.
  4. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    The Argentine economy is not so stable that I would derive too much from the number of milongas.
    Travelling Argentine teachers and performers are cheaper in these times where the arg$ sucks.
    But more important IMHO: what do the young(er) people dance there?
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I recently went to the same practica that I've been going to since the 1st half of the 00's. It was as well attended as ever.
  6. Omar Maderna

    Omar Maderna Member

    Fact: more people participated in ATUSA this year than any of previous years.

    Fact: the Pope has stated on record that he likes tango.

    Fact: Obama danced tango (however awkward!) and it was caught on film.


    Perception: I think the skill level at ATUSA was higher this year than previous years.

    Perception: I think the Pope is cool.

    Perception: Obama is cool.


    Trends: I think more women are wearing skirts now than before.

    Trends: I think men/women are learning how to lead/follow better overall.

    Trends: serious tango shoes are becoming more and more popular.
    jantango and itwillhappen like this.
  7. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Good point, Omar! So lets merchandize the plain black ones as Zapatos Barackeandos
    itwillhappen likes this.
  8. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    The teachers got better, of course. There was a trend that even the last one emphasized that lead/follow thing.
    But does this attract enough new and young people to new and upcoming milongas?
    Or gets Argentine Tango perceivced as difficult and stressful so that it's more or less a bubble of experienced dancers that runs the show?
  9. Omar Maderna

    Omar Maderna Member

    I don't see the correlation between people becoming better dancers and conveying the perception that tango is difficult and stressful.

    Whether this attracts young people to new milongas, boy howdy, I have no idea.

    Maybe we should make an experiment: take a bunch of regular annoying american teenagers, split them into two groups, have one group watch terrible dancers doing a bunch of tango moves badly to a nuevo song, and then have one group watch skilled dancers dancing to a good ol' DiSarli - controlling that all the other factors stay the same between the dancers and groups of youngsters, more or less.

    Then have the teenagers fill out a questionnaire rating their interest in learning the dance after observing the couples.

    Then we can finally assess whether we should all stop improving our tango or not depending on the reactions of the young people.
  10. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Im not in a special relation to Nuevo - but why not skilled dancers to a nuevo song and terrible dancers to a good ol' DiSarli???
    Omar Maderna likes this.
  11. Omar Maderna

    Omar Maderna Member

    Haha, yea, we need four groups of teenagers!!! ;)
    itwillhappen likes this.
  12. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Dancing on TV (often a hydrid of nuevo, stage, and international standard) may have it´s influence..
    Omar Maderna likes this.
  13. Maryg

    Maryg New Member

    Maybe there has been a "correction" like the stock market. Around 2000 interest in tango may have been reaching a peak due to the resurgence of interest in tango in the 1990s (movies, Forever Tango).
  14. pascal

    pascal Active Member

    This week we have 53 milongas/practicas in Paris. It's not (yet?) an extinct dance.
  15. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    This week in my community we have 0 milongas/practicas. My wife and I will go to a local bar tonight and dance tango-like things, as well as Lindy Hop things, to a blues band, mixing it up with the rock'n rollers. :dancingbanana: You make do with what you've got.

    Oh. We will also dance to golden age tango every day for an hour or so on our own floor. :)
    jantango likes this.
  16. Everything in life is cyclical. What goes up, comes down and vice versa. In New York metropolitan area this week we have 62 practicas and Milongas.
  17. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Surveys haven't been done in the Buenos Aires milongas to account for the number of dancers during the week. Each milonga has its own following of regulars. There are milongas for young dancers and the older generation. Everyone knows where to find their place by who organizes the milonga. Older dancers seek more traditional milongas run by older dancers where they know the music is what they like and the codes and customs are respected. It's an entirely different situation with young organizers where codes are abandoned and tandas non-existent.

    Are smaller venues merging into larger ones? I don't see this happening or know how it could. There is no merging of milongas. Organizers are protective of their milongas where it's their business. They don't want or need to share the meager profits with others.

    The only noticeable increase is in the foreign population in the milongas. Twenty years ago there were few foreigners found in the milongas; today some of the popular tourist milongas like Lujos and Cachirulo boast an attendance of 50% foreigners. The entradas continue to rise for many reasons, but 100 pesos is nothing for foreigners with dollars or euros to spend. There is competition among the milongas. Attendance is lower in the winter months (June/July/Aug) when there are fewer foreigners as well.

    It may appear that the milonga business is thriving in Buenos Aires, but that isn't a reality. Milonga organizers fight the city government on many issues and receive little support. Tango brings tourism to Buenos Aires. The World Tango Championships attract dancers from the world every August.

    Social tango in the milongas is on the decline. Milongueros viejos are an endangered species. Exhibition tango that reaches the world is en vogue. People who want to see the real tango need to visit Buenos Aires, and come as soon as possible.

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