Mónica Paz lives and works in Buenos Aires. She is known as a milonguero style dancer.
For more information about Mónica, visit mptango.com
“Milonguero Style” conjures images of older Argentines dancing very close, once upon a time, long ago and far away.
Milonguero Style is the close-embrace Tango with small steps and an inward focus that is danced by Argentines in downtown Buenos Aires. Susana Miller of the famous El Beso milonga coined the term.
Tango halls in city centers tend to be small and crowded, so you have to dance small. When dancing in crowds, if you don’t focus directly on your partner, it is easy to lose focus and get lost. In a way, the inward focus is a defensive necessity. By focusing inward, you also sharpen your attention outwards to avoid collisions.
Close-embrace comes from the Tango Renaissance of the 1980s. Tango classes were so packed that people had to get close. In the old days your parents probably wouldn’t be happy to see you dancing so close.
An important context is the prohibition of Tango in Buenos Aires during the military dictatorship years from 1955 – 1982. The people dancing Milonguero style since then were kids in the 1950s. We got to know them when they were old and many are gone now. That’s why it seems like an old-fashioned style.
There is something beautiful about Milonguero Style. It is the dance of Buenos Aires from before the time of world festivals, Tango championships and the incorporation of Ballet and Modern technique. It’s not only a dance, it’s the codes and traditions of Tango as they exist in Central Buenos Aires. It’s the people’s Tango.
Monica Paz studied with dancers like Carlos Gavito (Tango Argentino, 1983) and Pedro “Tete” Rusconi. Ximena danced a tanda of milonga with Tete at El Beso. It was one of the unforgettable moments in her Tango life, so musical, so clear, and yet so soft.
Monica Paz is a connection to the Tango of Buenos Aires, once upon a time, long ago and far away.
Mónica Paz in New York City
Mónica Paz teaches at Tango La Nacional at La Nacional in Chelsea, Manhattan on Thursday, May 3, 2018.