Introduction to #TandaTuesday

If you know anything about Argentine tango you’ll know that traditional salon tango is played in tandas (groups of tunes) punctuated by cortinas (non-tango musical breaks). You might not, however, be aware of the huge diversity of ideas as to how to construct them. In conversation with my friend Ms Hedgehog (who has very clear ideas about what she likes) I decided it would be interesting to investigate this wealth of opinion further, pitched the idea to Dance Today and had a piece on it published this month.

Raquel Greenberg and partner dancing a milonga at the Argentina stand in Regents Street, (c) Carole Edrich 2013

Raquel Greenberg and Enrique dancing a milonga at the Argentina stand in Regents Street, (c) Carole Edrich 2013

I had to fit the essence of the pitch into 800 words and keep it relevant to the Dance Today readership. That was hard. The characters and concepts involved are quite wonderful and each individual has a deeply considered, well structured and passionately expressed set of opinions but was limited to a double page spread and therefore unable to show this or examine anything to an intellectually satisfying depth. There are no such constraints on this blog, so I’ve decided to create a series of pieces and share my discoveries properly. By including more of the opinions I uncovered,  more about the beliefs and practices of the tango players I’ve interviewed and of course my own opinions I hope to be able to share the emotional and intellectual satisfaction of my work as well as a deeper understanding about the challenges and controversies of tanda construction.

What has all this to do with dance photography?

I believe that by understanding dance in all its forms (or at least as many as are humanly possible to learn) I can take more insightful photographs. Like others, I imagine, I hope to eventually be able to, in a single image or series, synthesise the spirit of the dance along with whatever story I’ve decided to display. I’d like to do this creatively in a way that resonates with people of different cultures and who have completely different levels of understanding and interest in that dance.

by Carole Edrich