2008: FAQ

If your question isn’t answered here – send us an email or suggest a question in the box at the end!

  • How much are tickets?
    A weekend pass which includes entry to all events is $50.
    Entry to each individual milonga is $15. Tickets are on sale now!
  • Who’s running it?
    Tango in the Spring is an event of the Tango Social Club of Canberra , a non-profit association in Canberra, run by volunteers. There’s five of us doing the admin, but there will be a bunch of other people from the Club helping out, in all kinds of ways.
  • What kind of music will be played?
    Each DJ will play their selections of the best ‘Golden Age’ Argentine Tango music, plus some spice.
  • Who’s performing at the milongas?
    We are not having any performances at the milongas. Just dancing!
  • What happens to the profits (and who pays for it if there’s a loss)?
    The Tango Social Club of Canberra is taking the financial risk on this event. If there is a surplus, it will go towards other non-profit tango events and activities. And if there’s a loss to cover, the Club will be paying it from its members’ funds.
  • How do I organise to do a performance at the festival?
    We are not having any performances at the festival. We would love people who normally do tango performances to come, but to take a break from performing and enjoy dancing socially with everyone else.
  • How do I organise to teach a workshop at the festival?
    We are not having any workshops or classes at the festival. We would love tango teachers to come, but we want you here to enjoy dancing socially with everyone else. Please don’t organise workshops while you are here – we really want everyone to be able to have all their energy available for dancing socially, not working on the latest move or worrying about technical corrections.
  • What is the difference between a practica and a milonga?
    The Canberra tango community is very proud of our weekly practicas.
    Our practicas have a distinctly different focus from a milonga: they are just for improving our tango dancing. How you work on it is up to you. You might spend time on discussing a problem with your fellow dancers, trying out new ideas, working on your technique, polishing your tango walk by walking around by yourself, watching what others are doing, or just by dancing.
    The weekly practicas in Canberra offer a good selection of quality danceable Argentine tango music, and comfortable venues for this purpose. You can have a taste of our practica during the festival on Saturday afternoon. Please come along!
    Milongas, on the other hand, are the place for you to just dance tango. Unlike practicas, no teaching and practising happens on the dance floor. It is the place for you to just immerse yourself in the gorgeous tango music that the DJs bring us, and enjoy the connection with the music, your partner, and the fellow dancers sharing the floor with you. Yes, milonga is the place where we experience the beauty of social Argentine tango.
  • If this is a Tango Social Club of Canberra event why is there a separate website?
    Tango in the Spring is an event of the Tango Social Club of Canberra – you can also access this website by going to www.tangocanberra.asn.au/tangointhespring, and we have links to this site from the TSCC site. The TSCC website is currently being redeveloped so we thought we’d set up a separate site so as not to overlap with the redevelopment plus we have in the back of our minds that perhaps another like-minded group from another city may like to adopt Tango in the Spring next year…. so they could then take over management of this website. Any volunteers?
  • Can you just turn up to the milongas without booking?
    We want everyone to be comfortable, with a seat at a table. If you book and pay in advance, we will make sure that you have a seat, even if you arrive late. You can just turn up too, but we cannot guarantee that we have a seat or table for you — and we may end up having to turn people away if there are a lot of walk-ups. So, if you help us by pre-booking, that would be great for everyone.
  • How can I arrange a billet?
    If you know someone in Canberra you want to stay with, contact them directly. If not, send us an email to billets@tangointhespring.org.au, telling us when you are coming, and any special requirements or requests. Give us plenty of notice, and we’ll get in touch and let you know if someone has a spare room – then you can work out the details with them.
  • I’m happy to billet someone. Is there a list somewhere?
    Send us an email to billets@tangointhespring.org.au, telling us what you are willing to offer, and any special requirements or requests. We’ll put you in touch with people requesting billets, who seem to match your criteria.
  • What about an alternative music milonga?
    We are focussing on the best of ‘Golden Age’ tango music, with a few excursions earlier and later. Every DJ will have their own style of course, but there will be only the occasional tanda outside of traditional Argentine tango music.
  • What do you mean by  “Golden Age” tango?
    Some people would just say “traditional Argentine Tango music”. Like most music genre descriptions, there’s a fair bit of fuzziness around the edges, but the expression “Golden Age” of tango music generally refers to a period from about 1930 or 35 to about 1952 or even 1960, roughly contemporaneous with the big band era in the United States. Certainly not all tango music recorded in that period is good for dancing, and there are a few great tangos from before and after, but it’s a useful shorthand.
    It is difficult to describe the music stylistically, as it includes such diversity, with the only shared features being a steady pulse and being ‘made for dancing tango’. It includes the sparse rhythms of early Canaro, the odd syncopations of Biagi, the smooth but powerful di Sarli tangos, the driving valses of Laurenz, though to the dramatic orchestrations of Pugliese. It includes orchestras with as few as 6, and up to 30 musicians. It may emphasise a singer, or feature the bandoneon, or be rooted in the strings. It includes the majority of music you hear at many milongas – in Canberra this includes Club milongas, Las Vacas Locas, and until recently, Tango Tostada (Toast) and Salud.
    When we say we are going to focus on Golden Age, this does not mean the exclusion of pre-Golden Age tangos, more recent recordings, neo-tango, tango electronica or non-tango music, but rather that these will be a relatively minor addition – the ‘spice’.