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Tango Styles No 3 - Maxamiliano Christiani - Argentina

There are many opinions on Argentine Tango styles. Whilst Tango "style" is very personal, Tango has spawned "styles" of social dancing that have developed into quite different dances that are not particularly compatible with one another in objective or technique. It includes Classic Tango of the Milongas, Contemporary International Tango (currently the most popular), Ballroom Social Tango (US) and competitive Ballroom Tango (split off in the 1920's), Nuevo Tango and Neo Tango (from 2000). Contemporary International Tango attempts to garner some legitimacy as the dance of the suburban milongas, though there is not much evidence of that. it's roots are clearly in demonstration / performance.

This series is intended to analyse and differentiate the dancing “styles” of popular Tango teachers from around the world, compared with classic social Tango of the Buenos Aires milongas. My analysis is limited to reviewing public video, typically of performance. I have attempted, as much as possible, to exclude comment on choreographed decorations and figures that are clearly included for entertainment. It is not intended as a criticism of any person, or any development of Tango. It is intended to understand the direction that Tango has taken since its renaissance of the 1990’s and where it might go in the future.

Opinions expressed here are my own. They come from our own experience dancing and teaching classic social Tango of the city milongas of Buenos Aires, where Tango was refined through the first half of the 20th century.

For my understanding and analysis of the variations and differences between classic social Tango of the milongas and contemporary international Tango, click here >>

There is very little information published on Maxamiliano’s dance background. He is noted as a dancer in a 2008 movie. Maximiliano, with Jesica Arfenoni, won the “Tango Mundial” Salon class in 2013, that clearly launched his international touring career. He continues to tour the world with various dance partners.

Maxamiliano’s style at that time was contemporary international Tango, favoured by the judges, pared back as required by the rules of the competition. It demonstrates how the Mundial competition moved quickly from social Tango (Osvaldo & Coca 2004) to the more commercial contemporary form.

Osvaldo & Coca, at the time of the first “Mundial” in 2003.

This video, taken soon after winning the Mundial is much less restrained demonstration / performance.

The only pretence of a Tango embrace is in the first few bars, after which the dance continues as a high energy demonstration (not Fantasia / stage with lifts and leaps - another genre).

Apart from opportunities for clever footwork, the music is incidental to the performance. The sequence 1:36 to 1:39 shows the classic long ballroom-style inside step with the lady stretching backwards, off balance, with a sudden stop to allow her to break the embrace and step straight forward into a typical wide, open giro. This is followed by a series of enrosques, paradas and other “demonstration” figures. Heel turns, running steps and other figures lead to a finale of dramatic ganchos and wraps.

Since then, Maxamiliano’s dance has moved more to the performance/demonstration end of contemporary international Tango that he demonstrates at festivals and workshops around the world.

Here is an example of how far he has taken this genre towards performance.

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Really enjoyed this - so interesting to watch Coco and Osvaldo and then to watch what today's newcomers to tango see as tango. It has changed so quickly. I love the neat and skilful dancing of Osvaldo and Coco and yet I am fascinated by the clever dancing of Maxamiliano. Thank you John

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