Book Review: A Passion For Tango by David Turnercategories: Book, Dance, Argentina, Tango Passion, Milonga, Vals, Tango
David Turnerabout this book: Argentine Tango is in a real sense, more of a language, a means of communication between a man an a woman than a mere dance form.This book is the most successful and comprehensive account of Argentine Tango ever published. It deals authoritatively with the history of tango; how it evolved in the ethnic and cultural melting pot that existed around the River Plate at the turn of the 20th century and how it developed and spread away from Argentina and across the globe.
There is a chapter devoted to the music of Tango and how it is intertwined with the dance form. Most of the book is about the dance with copious illustrations to help explain its intricacies and nomenclature and to debunk many of the unhelpful myths about the dance that could put people off trying to learn. There is even a chapter about Tango's link to Zen.
Most of the book describes the way we dance and reflects the learning process of the author over many years. He has much to say about the ways Tango is taught and learned and his advice has been considered extremely helpful by many beginners.
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The best book on Argentine Tango you will ever findThe author's passion for his subject, his eloquence and easy, witty style along with the fact that he is not a professional dancer - these combine to make this book by far the best one I have read on Argentine Tango.
The book takes you from the early stages of learning through to the deeper and more complex emotional and physical connections wrapped up in this dance of dances. The idea for the book initially started as a kind of diary, kept on the journey as the author himself learnt the dance from scratch. It is now far more than this; it contains the reflections and experiences of someone who started as a novice and became an accomplished dancer. There is a detailed and illustrated "how to" for each part of the dance, along with a witty and highly pertinent commentary on the authors experiences and passion for the art form which is Argentine Tango.
In addition to the technical Tango detail and the passion within and around it, there is much background. It includes chapters on the music, the milonga and even a Tango visitors tips chapter on Buenos Aires. That is well worth a read to help grasp some of the cultural background - even if you don't take the author's strong advice and make the trip yourself.
The author is a natural teacher and great company on the learning journey. If you are at any point on your own journey with Argentine Tango, from nervous and complete beginner to experienced and passionate devotee, you will find much depth and breadth in this book to support, inspire and fascinate. Buy it! [by Graham]
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