Tango Argentino > The Booty Misconception

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by TomTango, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Different people have different definitions about who a milonguero even is. Some say that there may be only 5 true milongueros still alive.

    Here is a video of Pupi Castello, a milionguero who is no longer with us, dancing with Graciella Gonzalez at a practica.

    itwillhappen and sixela like this.
  2. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    :pomp: :snaphappy: :brb: Okay, my definition of a milonguero is broken now. :D
  3. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    As far as it is about dancing with relative strangers one tanda pleasant and realiable, I absolutely agree. Why to take that at risk for some fancy moves?
    But dancing with someone that proficient in tango nuevo or contact improvisation or so that might be different for me...
  4. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't be worried about that,
    Puppy Castello never was a milonguero,
    he didn't dance anything like one and he certainly
    was not born early enough to be called a milonguero
    when it was a term of disparagement.

    By his own admission he was a predator
    on tourist women as recruits for classes
    in the post revival period.

    jantango likes this.
  5. Oliver

    Oliver Member

    dchester likes this.
  6. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member


    But of course anyone can choose his church to be as narrow as he like, thus making his definitions of any term internally consistent. It doesn't help mutual intelligibility, though, and it is not far from a culture war. My definition of who is a milonguero is rather wider than John's, and that's a choice.
  7. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Isn't the very idea of a definition limiting?

    The problem for me is not definition or the lack of it
    but that the term is rather loosely bandied about
    as some sort of validation without any consistent
    idea any more of what a milonguero was or is now.
    The term is increasingly less useful but continues
    to be used as a means of acquiring or denoting
    some sort of (sometimes dubious) credibility.
    jantango likes this.
  8. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Agreed. John seems to have the mistaken idea that all milongueros danced the same way. For my education, I listen to the Argentines who knew many of the milongueros, back in the day. They seem to be pretty clear on who the milongueros were.
  9. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    It's a strange phenomenon here that some posters
    object to their own deductive inventions of what
    I write rather than the more obvious actuality.

    Milonguero was a term of criticism "back in the day",
    as you describe it, not a dance style. It applied to some
    of those who danced in the city centre where there was
    greater moral freedom as well as much immorality.

    The concept of a narrow milonguero style, a 90s
    commercial invention by Cacho Dante & Susana Miller,
    Argentines both, has caused no end of confusion. But
    I certainly don't support it and most social dancers
    in BsAs don't know about such things and don't care.

    However, based on my experience, I do know that
    dancing Argentine style, chest to chest in an embrace
    responding to and in time with the music, might just
    earn the modern milonga accolade of being called
    a milonguero. How the meanings of words change!

    I just happily accept it as a compliment and that really
    is as far as it goes. As for the rest, you have clearly
    been moving in tourist driven commercial circles,
    your gullibility is entirely your own concern.
    jantango likes this.
  10. AlanJones

    AlanJones New Member

    My first post, good people! When a 'true milonguero' with 60 years experience of the tango talks, I listen. This is an extract via Janis from an interview with Ricardo Vidort:

    You see we, the old milongueros, like something special, and we are all special while we dance our own style. That means feeling in our own way with rhythm, cadence, embrace and rocking our body. When we have this and can transmit it, then we are milongueros.
    dchester likes this.
  11. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Alan, welcome to DF. And did your parents already take you along to milongas? I've seen that very often.
  12. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to the forum!
  13. Oliver

    Oliver Member

    Right. Living things change. Dead things are cut and dry.
  14. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    At one time in Buenos Aires, being called a "milonguero" wasn't a compliment unless it was from your fellow milongueros. Their lifestyle included going to the city center confiterias at night, smoking, drinking alcohol, possibly using drugs, and dancing until the early morning, sleeping all day, not working, and relying on financial support from a woman. It was a derogatory term.

    Then tango gained attention around the world with the show Tango Argentino in 1985, and the stage performers (none of whom were milongueros) began teaching their tango as if it was a social style danced in Buenos Aires (which it was not).

    Foreigners idolized and sought out men in the milongas who dance style they admired, invited them abroad and turned them into dance kings. The term was elevated like a foreign diplomat who traveled to teach his tango. Many of these men created step sequences to sell in Europe, totally useless for the social floor.

    Milongueros viejos are self-taught, have a personal style, and can dance well with any woman. Their numbers are few and certainly more than five. I posted photos of five recently on my blog who died this year alone.
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  15. AlanJones

    AlanJones New Member

    Thank you!
  16. AlanJones

    AlanJones New Member

    Thank you!

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