A tango embrace, face to face with your partner, is so often, perfect. Technology will never be. Not by itself.
We realise once and again that our heart only dances when we are present to each other, regardless of the medium. We, humans, have a mysterious capacity to create a perfect connection even with a failing wifi.
Many tango teachers and dancers, and tango community leaders around the world, are now experiencing digital shortcomings with online endeavours, but we are also playing around them and bringing about unexplored possibilities to the tango world.
TangoSpheres is one of those organizations pursuing online innovation in a time when we need it most.
The team behind it, David, Linda and Marcelo, are pushing boundaries in this field.
They have been building a community with a worldwide reach and an online approach to get us closer to each other and to all the worlds of tango.
Every Saturday, for instance, they host an open and free gathering on Zoom called ‘Mate Time’. Anybody can join this conversation, with no pre-set topic and only using the excuse of mate, that beverage that Argentinians love.
With the weekly ‘Mate Time’ event, TangoSpheres is trying to recreate the social side of milongas.
“Remember one milonga, when you had a good time. You arrived, you searched for that table where your friends are, you said hi, you changed your shoes and started talking about what happened in the world or your day… You spent the whole four hours of the milonga socializing with somebody, at the food table, on the other table… that is ‘Mate Time'”, said Marcelo.
One of the declared goals of TangoSpheres is “to break barriers”. They are convinced that the social aspect of tango can still take place, fully, online.
“TangoSpheres encompasses all sides of tango. Tango is not only a dance, but it’s also the music, the traditions, the cultures, the social aspect”, pointed David when explaining the meaning behind their logo.
This inclusivity of themes and people can be experienced in their monthly symposiums and weekly events.
As Linda puts it: “We promote progress, curiosity and enjoyment of Argentine Tango in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere”.
During our meeting, Marcelo’s internet failed and at one point, Ieva’s lights started flashing like at a disco. It didn’t matter. We, of course, noticed the glitches, and it was a bit annoying, but they never derailed our conversation.
The perfect embrace can happen on the dance floor, and, we are learning now that through technology and digital channels, we can recreate the perfect connection.
We can only get better at it.
Maestro Marcelo Gutierrez (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
David Richardson (Baltimore, MD)
Linda Hassan (Baltimore, MD)