Here milongas are held almost every day and there are also a few festivals. Marta Giorgi, Mundo Burgos, Laura Cairo and Fabián Lugo, “Tango Maldito”: Jürgen & Johanna, “El Corazón”, “KHG”, among others, are some of the people behind the Tango action in Munich. Right now I am not going much to milongas since I am concentrated on writing and playing. Milongas gather around 80 people, except for the most important events, with live performers. That is where there are larger numbers of audiences because the tango music can also be enjoyed.
Something curious happens here, which surprised me when I first arrived 8 years ago, and it is still going on. During the summer, one can dance every Friday at “Diana Tempel”, a square located where the former king Bayern’s gardens once were. About 100 people gather to dance to music coming from a tape recorder. Due to the mess left afterwards, they have tried to put a ban on it. But the following day, a newspaper headline read: “Tango forbidden in München”. The following Friday the place was crowded and, of course, they have not been able to stop it since.
There are also the Tango Mondays at the Praterinsel. For a whole month in the summer, dancers and amateurs meet to dance to the music of records and live orchestras. And Marta Giorgi is holding her first Tango Festival at the Deutsches Theater in November, which will feature Argentine dance teachers and orchestras.
As far as tango musicians are concerned, the scenario is not so interesting. Except for myself, there are no experienced Tango performers in Munich. There are, of course, people who play tango, but they offer an indefinite Latin repertoire.
In my view, what Tango needs in Europe –and perhaps not only here- is a boost to give it a rather artistic, cultural status. I am referring to music, dance, literature, image. It should be identified as something more than just an erotic dance, which, in my view, is quite a restricted conception.
When I am driving to a concert listening to a Tango, whatever time it came from, I am always impressed by the composition strength and clarity. Taking into account the fact that tango is a popular style performed by a completely atypical musical formation, I think it is remarkable that such evolution has been achieved in such short time. Few musical styles in the world are as original and rich.
The lack of creativity in popular music is increasingly evident. Globalization gradually homogenizes the popular taste. Candidly, the popular taste has disappeared, the media are shaping it and the people, oblivious, are buying the same things at the same time all around the world. But, fortunately, so far Tango is exempt from this phenomenon. The tango that may seem conservative, even reactionary to many, embraces that deep feeling that cultivates the essence of human emotions; and I am certain that this is the reason why such a huge variety of cultures find in this music some truth; certain experiences that all of us can relate to, even a couple that does not stop and keeps dancing once the song is over.
In my case, I must admit the audience reaction is comforting in general. My music is concert music, although on occasions we do it half-and-half: to dance to, and to listen to. The one with the string orchestra, for instance, is purely a concert program: intense, with new material and some “classics” that I perform in a duet with Gustavo Battistessa, my bandoneonist.
I feel that both here and over there the same things can be done. Certainly, in Argentina my concerts would not be as steady as they are here. But in Munich, I cannot listen to Salgán playing live.
* Luis Borda has been living in Munich, Germany, for eight years. He develops a hectic activity working on his music, very linked to tango.
In the wake of his appearance in Singapore, he recently performed two concerts (October 20 and 21) in the cities of Graz and Kindberg, Austria, with Szene Instrumental, rendering Astor Piazzolla’s double concert for guitar, bandoneon and string orchestra as well as pieces that belong to this formation. The Orchestra was conducted by Wolfgang Hattinger and on bandoneón was Gustavo Battistessa, who regularly takes part in the Borda Quartet in Europe.
He also performed in Augsburg, Germany on October 24 and, on the 25, he appeared at the School of Higher Music Studies in Munich, featuring Nicole Nau and Luis Pereyra dancing. On October 30 he was at the Cervantes Institute in Munich with writer Mempo Giardinelli, his Quartet and an actor, in a musical-literary concert in a tribute to Julio Cortázar, in the framework of “Argentina Hoy”, an event held by the above mentioned institute.
Next November 23, he will join the Guitar festival “Seiten Sprungen” in the southern city of Bad Aibling along with lute player Roman Bunka. Also with Bunka and cellist Jost H. Hecker, he is planning to record an album for the company ENJA called “Orientación”, a fusion of Tango and Oriental music.
In early November, Luis Borda will visit Argentina for the release of his latest album, “Hecho” and to record a new work for CD and DVD along with Argentine figures.
also read about TANGO TODAY IN PORTUGAL