Interview with a Tango DJ: Jarny Choi
WHAT FIRST MADE YOU INTERESTED IN TANGO DJING?
When I first started tango many years ago, there wasn’t much focus on properly DJed events locally, so I started to DJ just to fill in this gap.
What do you like best about DJing?
I get to set the overall mood and direction of the milonga and play the music I like. Also, I like the fact that I get to learn about the music.
What do you consider when selecting music to play?
My considerations are probably no different to most DJs: great individual songs selected into tandas with consideration, then ordering of the tandas to suit the flow of the milonga.
What music won’t you play at a milonga?
I don’t see much point in playing music that’s hard to dance to for most people. Also, I’m not really into alternative, post-50’s versions of famous pieces that much.
What’s your worst DJing experience?
I’ve had some less than ideal milongas, when I regretted playing a number of pieces or tandas afterwards. It’s a good learning experience to have a few things go wrong.
How much do you dance when you DJ?
Usually I don’t dance that much, as I’m too concerned about the DJing to fully enjoy my dancing.
How did you find DJing at Tango in the Spring 2010?
A lot of power and responsibility sits on a DJ at a festival dedicated to social dancing. I learnt a lot from the experience, on what works and what doesn’t.
What are you looking forward to as a DJ at this year’s Tango in the Spring?
Playing some good tandas that I’ve worked out recently, in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere that is Tango in the Spring.
What is your current favourite tango piece?
How about Corazon by Di Sarli — a typically great Di Sarli piece that manages to combine layers of great rhythm, singing and melodies all together. After all these years, it still amazed me how well all the parts of such a song work together. It’s fitting that the idea of the sum greater than its parts applies not only to the tango dance itself, but to its great songs.