23 April 2015

The tango dancer: designer or preserver?

The more I try to get on the inside of tango, the more I realise that I’m on the outside. The more I try to learn, the more I understand my lack of understanding. And I’m wondering which rights we have to owning tango, especially in an individual-centered culture where everybody - myself being no exception - claims the right to design “the tango that fits me”.

What is tango? Is it the steps? Is it the music? Is it the lyrics, written in a language that so many of us don’t even bother to learn? Is it the history?

I’m a modern European girl borrowing a culture and wondering about this: How much can we take away from tango before it’s not tango anymore?

And if it becomes something else and isn't tango anymore, does it matter?