I moved to Buenos Aires for Tango

Post date: Aug 4, 2014 2:40:02 AM

Judith Schwyter 

Image source: http://www.judithschwyter.net/about

Tango is danced by people of all ages in Buenos Aires and world-wide. This documentary My First Tango, focuses on the tango journey of an older woman, Judith Chinea, who migrated from Switzerland to Buenos Aires to fulfil her passion for tango, and her dream of being a great tango dancer. 

The doco also focuses on the experience of her daughter, Judith Schywhter, who has come to Buenos Aires to meet her mother and is learning tango for the first time.  Her tango teacher is the well known teacher / performer Eduardo Saucedo.

Produced and directed by Judith Schwyter, My First Tango tells a story about tango - its music and dancers. But most importantly it tells a story about fulfilling one's dreams, being alive and present to life. 

There are three particular points in the doco that stand out for me. At one point the mother talks about how she gave up a lot for tango. She gave the beautiful nature, security, and reliable people of Switzerland, for a very different life in Buenos Aires. She replaced walking in the Swiss alps with walking the polluted streets of Buenos Aires. She says that se does not regret her decision because dancing tango in Buenos Aires makes her feel that she is alive, that she is truly living.

Another point is when the mother talks about how she enjoys dancing with portenos because they really feel the music and embrace of the tango, and they transmit that feeling to her in the dance. She talks about how the dance can be so enjoyable because of this feeling, even when it is just a simple walk with no fancy steps. This is an important message for leaders: concentrate on the feeling, not just the steps


A particularly poignant moment is the scene of an elderly porteno (who appears to be one of the mother's favourite dance partners) in his run-down lodgings singing a tango. He sings with great skill and passion, and the beauty of his singing contrasts with the shabby setting. As he sings you can see that he is enjoying every moment of the song, and how  this expression transports him away from the material poverty of his every day life.

I know many older women, like Judith Chinea, who have traded the securities and comforts of their homelands for the rawness and edginess of life in Buenos Aires.  They desire to embrace their passion for tango and, as mentioned by Judith, they ultimately want to feel more alive.  This is what the tango gives them.  

In my mind, it's certainly a more appealing retirement option than playing the bowls or bingo!

Let's not forget about the the many younger women (and men for that matter) whose addiction to tango has also caused them to move to Buenos Aires; many of whom have given up high powered, well paying careers for the tango.

Similarly, I know of many people who haven't moved to Buenos Aires but whose lives have been transformed by the tango.

This doco captures very well what it is about the tango, for people of all ages, that makes it so special and so life-changing.

Enjoy it here...

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