Dancers –around the world agree that the Argentine tango is the most sensual dance. The chemistry between the man and woman is absolutely stunning.
Delhi is gradually turning into a hub with various cultures mingling to create a world of their own. And as winter approaches and the evenings become pleasant, the city becomes abuzz with activities of different kinds.
Perhaps that is the reason for its immense popularity among dancers who want to learn western dances. In a large number of reality shows on Indian television, a large number of contestants try their hand at their versions of tango, which are often a mixture of tango and Bollywood styles of dancing.
For the love of tango, the fourth Delhi International Tango Festival (DITF) is being held in the capital from 9 to 11 November 2017.
The Festival is organized by New Delhi Tango School (NDTS) headed by dancer, Kiran Sawhney based in Greater Kailash in New Delhi.
The three-day DITF will have workshops by renowned maestros and Milongas (Tango socials). The event is being held at Pluck in Pullman Hotel, Aerocity, Delhi who is the hospitality partner. They will also have Tango Championship organized by NDTS for the second time in India.
About thirty tango dancers are flying in from the United Kingdom, Argentina, Turkey, Oman and the United States for the event.
The event will feature Monica Romero and Omar Ocampo, of Los Ocampo as Guest Teachers, and the special guest singer from Buenos Aires Silvana Casal. The Guest DJ Marisol from Bailarin Tango Club in the UK will also be present to lend magic to the event.
The origin of Tango in Buenos Aires somewhat resonates to the present scenario in Delhi. It originated when lots of immigrants, who were mostly labour class men, migrated to Argentina from Spain, Italy, Africa, etc. There were more men who would want to woo beautiful Argentine women and the only source they had, was to show off their skills on the dance floor. So they got together and two men practised with each other.
So what is the similarity here with present day in Delhi? Do you not see a lot of labour class men from neighbouring states working here? But they are resorting to not winning the Delhi women with their skills. Instead, they are frustrated. Do you not see how Tango is can be the nicest way to socialize, interact and network irrespective of class, strata, looks, education, etc. People go for clubbing and most of them make a fool of themselves on the dance floor. They should be going to a Tango class and flaunt their moves on the dance floor instead. A woman falls for a man who can lead her well on the dance floor. Do not start about wit, humour and making her laugh etc. Give her a good time on the dance floor and it is a sure way to her heart. This is better than gifting her diamonds. But for that, you need to go to tango classes.
We have a tango school in Delhi, teaching pure Argentine tango. But do not join this school with intentions of holding the women in your arms or finding a dating partner for yourself. The owner and teacher of the school, Kiran Sawhney is an absolutely no-nonsense person. She told us that if she finds anyone misbehaving in her class or even outside, she is the first one to turn them out of her tango class. She is known for being disciplined, caring, loving, gentle, warm and also extremely strict. She is passionate about tango. Yes, tango is a social dance and gives you opportunities to a network but Kiran does not want people to be joining a tango class with this underlying intention. There is a subtle difference you see.
Kiran describes how the tango scene has grown by leaps and bounds since she organized the very first weekly class and milonga in 2012. She has given 15 years to tango. She recalls often paying out of her pocket for events and visiting maestros.
The tango scene is what it is for now. You want a better scene, then Ask yourself WHAT can I do make it better? Each and every one of us has the potential to improve and be fabulous. Kiran loves teaching but not for financial gain.
Kiran describes how tango is still at a nascent and growing stage in India. She is herself into yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and a lot into fitness. She understands human body and mind. She has also learned Indian classical dances under renowned Gurus. Hence she is very wary of people coming to her classes with different mindsets. She wants to teach the dance form in its purest way. She says, “I have lost the count of the number of students I have turned out of my class because of their wrong attitude. But if I have lost some, I have gained much more and the ones who remain are becoming gold.” She filters chaff from the wheat. Her students whom we spoke to, are all praises for their teacher, her methodology of teaching, her passion for the dance form and the energy she invests in it. She has successfully created a beautiful tango scene in Delhi and has transported her group to Buenos Aires.
Good tango dancers do not just materialize out of thin air, they develop through hard work. They have to attend weekly classes, workshops and work on their fundamentals. They attend milongas. But importantly they listen to the teacher and do not cop I am a ‘superior’ dancer attitude.
Tango is a partner dance. It is a social dance and gives you similar opportunities to socialize like golf or clubbing. But it is much more sophisticated and requires many unsaid rules to be followed that are taught in the classes. Tango requires two people to dance in a close embrace. This is little intimidating for Indian mindset. The embrace is your calling card. Tango has been known to have psychological and physical benefits. It definitely is a great stress buster. To have a good embrace, you must be relaxed and at ease to be in a close proximity with another person, who is probably of the opposite gender. You need to shed some inhibitions. An embrace is like a hug and hugging certainly has many benefits. Humans do need a physical contact (not necessarily sexual but maybe sensual).
Kiran says, I often tell my students, “Imagine you are meeting your close and dear friend (maybe of the same gender as you and not opposite) after many years at the airport. How would you warmly hug/ embrace him/her? Embrace in tango should be exactly the same- relaxed, easy, warm and not sexual”.
Talking to Kiran and getting to know about her school, her passion for tango, her zeal for teaching and organising, left us speechless. We walked out of her school/ dance studio as if we were floating in the air. It was enlightening. If you are looking to take up a new hobby, learn a dance form, have a nice corporate or team building workshop in your corporate office, have a nice wedding choreography which is different from regular Bollywood choreography, look no further. Head straight to New Delhi Tango School and learn it from the best tango teacher.
Kiran Sawhney, the founder of the school, organizing the event, is the first professionally trained Tango teacher in India.
The New Delhi Tango School (NDTS) is a pioneer in Argentine Tango and is the oldest school in India that teaches Tango.
Those wishing to know learn tango in NDTS can visit the website www.delhimilonga.com
You can also contact Kiran at email@example.com