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Vanina and Chicho tango - Part 1

posted Mar 28, 2014, 1:09 AM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Apr 16, 2014, 11:13 PM ]
Yes they do, and you can see it in the youtube video below. 

But there's much more to this video than that. It's a fascinating insight into one of my favourite tango dancers of the past Vanina Bilous. I previously wrote about this amazing tanguera in About Vanina

Since her retirement from dancing tango professionally in 2003, little has been seen or heard of Vanina. It was thus a special treat to discover a video of Vanina Bilous being recently interviewed by milonga organizer and tango dancer Pepa Palazon. 

Present in the audience are many well known tango teachers, including Chicho Frumboli. When asked who she would most like to dance with Vanina emphatically replys 'Chicho!' To the audience's delight this wish was granted on the spot. It was magical to watch Vanina and Chicho tangoing to Pugliese's 'Recuerdo' (starts at 1:06:6). Vanina's lack of tango shoes for the occasion suggests it was all completely impromptu, which made their dancing even more mesmerising to watch. Pure magic!

roberto hererra vanina bilous tango
It's a long video. You will need a spare hour to get through it, but it will be time well spent. Vanina takes you on a trip back to tango of the 1980s and 1990s, which is also known as the era of the 'Tango Renaissance' (after the fall of the military junta in 1983) and  'Tango for Export' 1.  She also shares her philosophy on tango, and gives advice on how to dance tango well.

Vanina comes across as an extremely  authentic and simpatico person. She is clearly loved and revered by many of the old and new generation of tango celebrities, who were in the audience, and hanging on to her every word. It is heartwarming to see that the younger generation of tango dancers value their tango heritage, of which Vanina is a big part.

Here is a summary of the key parts of the video:
  • the experience of learning with Antonio Todaro (33:39 - 34:53)
  • her love of, and approach to, dancing to music by Piazolla - "Piazolla can't be danced within the (traditional) structure of tango" (37:22 - 38:46)
  • https://sites.google.com/a/so-tango.com/sotango/blog/_draft_post-3/pugliese.png
    the experience of working with Osvaldo Pugliese and his orchestra (
    39: 32)
  • learning with Pepito Avenellada (56:06)
  • learning and working with Carlos Copes "A milonguero who needed to fly" (56:45)
There's some amazing footage of Vanina dancing with Antonio Aquino (her first tango partner) to live music by Pugliese's orchestra  (10:59 - 11:57 and 12:28 - 13:19). It includes priceless camera zooms to Pugliese playing the piano and he appears to be watching them dance in a piano pause break! (11:15 - 11:17).

Finally, don't miss the footage of Vanina dancing with Roberto Herrera (the main partner in her career). This reveals why they are considered to be one of the all-time greatest couples in tango history. (47:53 - 51:27).

 ‘Tango for export’ is a synonym for stage tango. It is the tango stage shows of the 1980s and 1990s, such as ‘Tango Argentino’ and ‘Forever Tango’. These shows touring the world were the main way that the culture of Argentine Tango was transmitted to the rest of the world. The terminology ‘tango for export’ is often used in a derogatory manner by social tango dancers in Buenos Aires to suggest that it does not represent the way Argentines dance tango socially.

photos:  upper right: Roberto Hererra and Vanina lower right: Osvaldo Pugliese


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