The tickle of Tango

By Xu Jingxi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-01-10 08:09:56

The tickle of Tango

Mora Godoy's shows display both the light-hearted and the sentimental sides of tango. Photo provided to China Daily

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The tango veteran plans to host workshops during show tours in the future.

"Chinese tango professionals can pass on what they learn from Argentine tango professionals to their students in China, which is important for tango's development in the country," Godoy adds.

Atta Ho, a tango dancer from Taiwan who is now running a tango studio in Guangzhou, is excited about Godoy's plan. But she thinks tango balls are more needed in China than "master classes".

"Compared to short-term training by foreign masters, a boom in regular tango balls helps the long-term development of tango more by creating a supportive atmosphere," Ho says.

According to Ho, there is only one tango ball hosted every two weeks in Guangzhou, which makes her miss the bustling nights in Buenos Aires with eight tango events to attend per night when she studied there.

In Shanghai, where tango has more fans than in Guangzhou, there are still only three or four tango parties every week.

Tango lover Yvan Schulz is a PhD candidate from University of Neuchatel in Switzerland doing research in China. He and his wife have found it difficult to find a good place in China to enjoy the dance.

"It is a pity that tango seems to have become an expensive recreation in China," Schulz says.

Thanks to its early introduction to Europe early in the 20th century, tango is popular on the continent. Tango festivals are often held, when tango lovers all over Europe gather in a country to take part in competitions, join masters' workshops and attend balls.

"A ticket for such a festival event in Europe is priced at $50 per night at most, while it can cost $100 in Shanghai," Schulz says.

In Guangzhou, Ho says that she limits her lesson fees and the ticket price to the tango balls she co-organizes to keep them affordable for most tango lovers.

Ho's tango training costs about 100 yuan for one lesson and she gives lessons to 40 students per week. A ticket to a tango ball (not a festival) is 40 yuan per night, while it is 60 yuan to 80 yuan in Shanghai.

"Tango is not for the rich and noble only. It originated as a social recreation for the populace in Argentina," Ho says.

"Tango's charm lies in its music and its miraculous magnetic force to pull two strangers together without verbal communication, not the fancy dresses and shoes."


7:30 pm, Jan 10. Opera Hall of Shandong Grand Theater, the intersection of Rizhao Lu (Road) and Lashanhedong Lu (Road), Xicheng New District, Jinan, Shandong. 0531-5570-7333.

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