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Attend a tango event in Tardeo and learn from the best

Updated on: 31 August,2023 09:39 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shriram Iyengar |

A marathon session of performances and social dancing hopes to introduce the city to the Argentine culture of the tango

Attend a tango event in Tardeo and learn from the best

Kruti Gandhi and Ajinkya Deshpande

There are no mistakes in tango. Not like life,” remarked Al Pacino, famously in the 1992 classic, Scent of a Woman. The movie propelled the dance form to global limelight as only Hollywood can. To Kruti Gandhi and Ajinkya Deshpande of Abrazo Tango, it is the best branding the dance could have gotten, and one they hope they can cash in on during their session in the city this Saturday.

For 38-year-old Gandhi, the dance form was an extension of her foray into the art. “I learnt bharatanatyam, kathak and salsa before I even stepped into tango,” she reveals.  In contrast, her collaborator, 35-year-old Deshpande, calls himself “a one-trick-pony”. “I am not a dancer. I just know how to tango,” he laughs. Returning from their recent performance at the semi-finals of the championships in Indonesia last month, they seek to show Mumbaikars a glimpse of the dance’s elegance. 

Kruti  Gandhi and  Ajinkya  Deshpande

More than a dance

It must be something in the air of Buenos Aires that produces elegant feet. Gandhi explains that tango is integral to the culture of the South American country that produced Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. “It attracts the most interesting people,” Deshpande tells us. The reason is the improvised nature of the dance.

Despite this, Gandhi points out, “There is a certain codigo (code), a formality underneath that creativity of tango.” Deshpande explains that it is unlike any other social dance, where you would walk up to a partner and ask them to join you. “In tango, you have to invite them purely non-verbally without walking up to them. The way you navigate the floor and stand is also relevant.” So dances are structured that you change partners after every four songs. “It is the perfect way to meet and learn about new people,” Gandhi notes. 

A class in sessionA class in session

Not so niche

Does the formality that makes it niche, we wonder. Not so, says Gandhi. While it was still a niche dance form, when they started out a decade ago, she reveals that it has gained popularity among the younger generation. “It is more complex than salsa or bachata, but its elegance and finesse attract people,” she says.
“The dance needs to be understood in the context of its social form,” Deshpande notes. The marathon session on Saturday is an effort to expand this community in the city. “We hope to introduce more people to this art,” Deshpande shares.

Participants can choose to register ahead for a refresher session in the morning, followed by an evening of social dancing and performances featuring students and professional tango performers from across the country. The dress code is retro Bollywood, they add. “We will have a brief explanation before the sessions, outlining the codigos. It is a good experience for beginners who are curious about the dance form, but do not know where to start. It will be a good way to learn experientially,” Gandhi shares. 

On September 2; 4 pm onwards
At Malabari Hall, Gamdevi Road, Tardeo. 
Call 9987586384 (Kruti Gandhi); 9527968650 (Ajinkya Deshpande) 
Cost Rs 1,500 (including dinner)

Learn to tango

. Btangoconscious  
From September 2; 5 pm onwards At Acropolis, Connaught Mansions, Colaba. 
Log on to @btangoconscious_btc
Cost R4,000 (8 sessions)

. Baile de Salón  
At El Tara, Orchard Avenue, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai. 
Call 9833983669
Log on to @Baile-de-Salón on Facebook

. Los Tangueros 
At Rhythm and Beats Studio, B-102 Sun Vision, Vile Parle East. 
Call 9870480560 to register

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