By Thomas Tarapacki
There’s probably no other dance that has the romantic and
sensual expression of the Tango. Therefore, it’s very appropriate this
Valentine’s Day that new Tango dance classes are being launched in Buffalo.
A 5-week series
of Argentine Tango instruction is starting on Thursday, February 19th
at the St. John’s-Grace Episcopal Church on Colonial Circle. The main
instructor will be Travis Widrick.
You’ve read in Buffalo Rising about the active Swing Dance
community in Buffalo, but I recently discovered there’s also a very strong local
following for the Tango, a dance that’s very different from the Swing. The Tango
originated in Argentina in the late 19th century, and combines
elements of various cultures, including African, European and Latin American.
The style of dance (of which there are many variations) supposedly originated in
the brothels and tenements of Buenos Aires. The drama and emotion of the dance led Argentine musician Enrique
Santos Discépolo to describe Tango as “a sad thought which is danced.”
To an untrained observer (like me), the Tango presented quite a
contrast from the Swing Dancing I observed over at Shakti Yoga. Not only was it slower and almost
cat-like with many walking movements, but it has a theatrical and romantic
quality. It’s no surprise that the Tango has been prominently featured in a
variety of movies, including The Scent of A Woman and True Lies.
The tango is
improvisational and natural. It can be danced in a simple way, or by using more
sophisticated elements. Step sequences can vary according to the music. As
Pacino said in The Scent of a Woman: ´The tango is the easiest dance. If you make a mistake
and get tangled up, you just tango on.”
One of the leaders of the
local Tango upsurge, Travis Widrick, heads Buffalo Tango X. He has studied with Tango Instructors from all over the
world including many from Argentina. He intends to make a trip Buenos Aires himself this
year to learn more about the Tango.
The Argentine Tango classes are being
offered from beginner through intermediate levels. The
Beginners/Fundamentals class starts at 8:00PM and goes to 9:00PM with a half-hour
practice afterwards. Once you have mastered the Fundamentals, there is an
Intermediate class offered from 7:00 to 8:00PM . The classes are
held at the St. John’s-Grace Episcopal Church, 51 Colonial Circle in Buffalo.
The cost is $60 per series/per person, and $110 per couple/per series (The
discounted cost is $30 and $50, respectively, for those with valid college ID.)
You can register as late as the day of the first class, but once the series has
started, registration will be closed.
you also might want to check out a Guided Practica that will be held at Chow
Chocolate, 731 Main Street, on Monday, February 16th from 7:30 to
10:00PM. It only costs $5 to get in on the fun.