Tango milonguero and show tango are two faces of the same coin. Tango is known throughout the world thanks to show tango. It is disseminated via television and theatre stages thanks to its artistic treatment; the figures are spectacular and visible due to its open embrace and the use of dramatic stage sets, the steps make generous use of the stage.
Tango milonguero does not have this visual richness, but instead has a great rhythmic richness. It is danced within a confined space, as it is a social dance for the dance hall, characterised by its use of space. The couples dance for their own delight and not for an audience.
Milongueros can dance using the whole floor or just one single tile – conserving with great precision the rhythm and the contact with the other’s body in a blend of tension and emotional relaxation.
The choreographies (of Tango milonguero) are like stories told just for her and she follows him, much like his shirt, with a great deal of presence, but without weight.
The creativity of the woman is in the quality of her response and the rhythmic interpretation within the lead provided by the man.
The open embrace dance requires social tango for its inspiration and social tango requires show tango for its dissemination and transmission to new generations. People look for love and to be loved. The musical tango embrace is an imitation of love, a relief for the soul and an act in which the man and the woman speak without affectation of their happiness, their passion, in one embrace.
Two people who walk embraced to the beat of the music.
There is a lot of discussion about the name because the use of the word milonguero is, of course, much broader. A “Milonguero” is anyone who goes to a milonga and who dances in a manner respectful of everyone else on the dance floor. That is, a social tango dancer. As a consequence many “milongueros” do not dance what is today known as the “milonguero style”, and from there arises the discussion about using the same word to speak of two distinct things.
When we speak of the “milonguero style” we’re speaking about a particular type of social dancing in which the axes are projected slightly forward but in which each person maintains his or her own axis and there’s not a shared axis. Only occasionally is there an option for the man to create a situation in which the lean is deepened, generating a shared axis. The embrace is never modified during the dance. The relationship is one of intimacy within the embrace because the torsos are in contact and this is closely linked to the necessity to dance within a reduced space when the dance floor is full. Thus it has a natural relationship with music and space. Musicality and use of space are the two coordinates that create the choreography. Improvisation is absolutely subject to these two determinant axes that at once limit yet enrich the creativity in each dance. A rhythmically rich style, it is also characterized by all of the movements being made on the floor, avoiding generating awkward situations on the dance floor.