La grande dame de tango, Milena Plebs, welcome to Buenos Aires Tango Talks. Your carrier started fare back in the 80’s. 32 years of constant tango, you belong to the very few grand masters who have managed to be at the top all these years. Working continuously in tango, with different partners or even solo.
What is your secret, to stay focused and always professionally successful?
I don’t know if I have a secret or strategy.
What I can say is, that I have to be always enthusiastic with something.
First, when I was with Migurel Angel Zotto and the show Tango Argenino and later Tango x 2 , it was a progressive path, which we built together. This is the base of my carrier in tango.
But then when I stopped dancing with Miguel Angel Zotto, I had to stop totally. I had let everything cooling down, because it was to strong.
Then, i found another dancer, Ezequil Farfaro. Together with him, I wanted to do something absolute different.
In tango it is important, that you build your own style.
It is important that each couple build their very own, personal style. I am not afraid of starting again, again and again.
For example, when I start to work with a new partner the first I ask is: “what would you like to dance? ” Because the man is leading, he has the creative part.
Which is the music you like most? The music, you really like and is fun for you. This is for me important, because i will join to your joy. I will work with that joy.
For me this is tango. Tango is being alive, tango is present moment, tango is new all the time. I think that is the secret.
To be creative all the time, to start new things.
To try different things and also take elements from other dances, or other artforms. For me this is very important because it gives me a lot of moods and material to keep growing my art.
As a world famous argentine tango master from Buenos Aires, what is most relevant for you to transmit to us, foreign tangueros, visiting Buenos Aires ?
When you come to Buenos Aires you will experience the real taste of tango.
The idea is to be very open, to be perceptive, to look a lot what is happening inside the Milongas. Talk to other dancers, to know about the codes and the habits. What’s happening in the Milongas.
The information is very useful for you. Be patient, very patient, because many people complaint that they cannot dance when they are in Argentina. Argentine men don’t invite them and the agentine women don’t except their invitation.
Be patient because you will get into a new world.
Knowing steps is not enough to come to Buenos Aires and dance in the Milonga. You have to be open and percieve and incorporate other information. Information that has to do with the tradition, with the authentic dance of the Milongueros.
Also it has a lot to do with the music. For example the Milongueros, the old Milongueros, unfortunately we have only very few left now. They didn’t dance all the tandas, they choose what they like to dance.For example one is good for Troilo but not for Pugliese and another enjoy D’arienzo but not Salgan.
It is important that you dance the music that you like.
Further try to make research about the music, that you know the differences between the orchestras and how you will recreate your dance with different orchestras. It is not only about knowing steps.
And of course I will talk a lot about the embrace, the connection.
Feel the other person and work on your own personal technique.
As soon as you have adopt your technique, you are more prepared to dance with another person. Go back to the basics, simple things, there are always things to learn.
I still learn after 32 years. Tango is so personal , there are always people appearing with new mechanisms, new ideas. You have to be open all the time.
I do not know why, but as I am traveling a lot, I see tango in Buenos Aires is different.
Tango in Buenos Aires is different.
Sometimes it is difficult to explain why. There is some air that is different.
One of the things is, we discuss also a lot between our colleagues, every where we go when we travel to teach, or dance, besides of Buenos Aires, you see different groups, schools, academies, groups of dancers, compete with each other.
There is a lot of competition between teachers and organisers. I don’t know why, but in Buenos Aires this doesn’t happened . Because you find so many teachers, so many Milongas. Each night you have maybe 10 options or more to choose from. Different styles , different music, different atmosphere, more for young people, more for older people, more formal, more alternative.
Besides it is a big community with different groups, styles or whatever, there is more solidarity.
More solidarity in Tango.
When somebody does a show, other people come and share the experience. If there is a festival with some organiser other people will go. It is different.
That is something I would like to point out, because I would like that people become more open.
May we know about your future project you are planning or what is your dream to realize in the next 5 years?
Right now i am starting to experience with video and photography. Involve myself with studying video editing and post production . I would like to do documentaries myself, with other dancers, i like a lot.
I would like to do documentaries myself.
My thoughts in relation to the dance, I think that something about the roles must change. Sometimes we see a lot of women doing the men’s part or opposite. But I don’t mean it in that sense, that women have to learn the men’s part. I just find it very useful. For example, if I will lead a movement in a certain way, I know where to bring the follower, because i have experienced that before from the opposite position. This is very useful for the follower and the leader.
Dance is making evolution all the time.
Sometimes they talk a lot about “machismo”, The role of the men just need a strong and clear action with carefulness. And no abuse of that powerful role.
In the same time, I think that the dance in future will continuing changing. But not changing man with follower role and opposite. Maybe the roles will experiences different mechanism inside their specific role. For a better understanding for each others roles.
The roles will become more equal in sense of energy and dialog.
The men leads the movement, but the way I respond, is my way. Each woman responds differently. The way I respond , gives something to him, and he will create something with this information.
I like to try out new ideas with dancers and I have the idea to do smaller projects, not the big shows. More intimate performances, which will be related to my video and photografy projects. Performances in unusual places like an art gallery.
In this moment i do not have the plan to do big shows. Of course, if somebody propose to me a show, I will contemplate.
My idea is to interacting with other artforms.
Milena Plebs, do you have other thoughts you would like to propose to us ?
I am always very greatful to foreigners and to other countries because of what happened in Paris in ’83 and Broadway in ’85 .
The success of “Tango Argentino” is the reason we are experiencing now this big movement of the tango in the whole world.
I am always very thankful, because in this more than 100 years tango is going back and forth. From Paris back to Buenos Aires, than New York and Japan.
There is something in Tango that is universal.
I guess there is something in Tango, that is a little bit universal.
It is the reason that Tango keeps growing and growing, it is the embrace, the contact with another person.
Specially important in these times, where we have the adiction with the cellphone. Tango you cannot dance by internet, you have to go to a Milonga, embrace somebody and feel.
I guess this is the big success of tango. Again, I will say keep patient, study, is not easy, it is not that you learn 3 steps and you go to Milonga.
Tango is very refind, has lots of details. I still learn and still practise. I want to be very confortable with my movements, and I want to give this knowledge to the leader, when I dance. What you are and what you do you are giving this to the partner and reverse.
Keep studying, Tango is spiritual, it is very deep, the dance of the soul, of the heart and love.
Thank you very much dear maestra Milena Plebs for your time in Buenos Aires Tango Talks and the very interesting and not less important inputs.
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