The cab weaved through the bustling city roads,

I looked out the window; people, cars, billboards.

Soon the noise will fade, crowds will disappear,

We would touch the highway, home will be near.

I soaked in the chaos and smiled,

Beautiful views awaited me on either sides.

Eucalyptus, coconut, age old trees, growing wide and tall,

Few old rickety buses, slowly tugging along.

Roads lined with colourful houses, kids by the roadside,

Cattle crossing and village markets, a feast for my eyes.

At the city outskirts, I chuckled and said,

“City is over, heaven lies ahead!”.

Driver, a local, replied…


Its mid-Feb; the time between the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on Feb 11 and the Women’s day on Mar 8 seemed like a good window to share this story that has been on my mind for a while now. (Note: this story does not talk about the artist, Madonna.)

In 2018, my travels meant that the time I would spent walking the corridors of museums was similar to the time I would spent exploring the city streets. …


A PRAGMATIC GUIDE

Energy of the milonga

Keep the energy up! (Image credit: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1521801)

Tango DJs have an inordinate amount of power. They can make or ruin the mood (and evening) of a big bunch of people without trying very hard. On second thought, it takes more effort to make the evening fun and memorable; it is much easier to ruin the evening.

Unlike the other topics I have written about, the energy of the milonga is something to experience and connect to, rather than think about. The DJ has to be perceptive and tuned in to the dancers in the milonga to understand how things are going — people yawning, looking bored, spending…


A PRAGMATIC GUIDE

The Tanda

The basic building block of an evening of Tango is the tanda, which consists of 3 or 4 songs of Tango, vals or milonga — around 10–12 minutes. A couple typically commits to dancing one full tanda when they agree to dance with each other. If any dancer ends up dancing a couple of tandas they don’t enjoy, then it can be nearly 30 minutes of torture. I think it is important that Tango DJs keep this in mind and take it very seriously.

To be fair, not all bad tandas are because of the music; However, it is hard…


A Pragmatic Guide

The Music

Image Credit: Wikipedia

This is part of a series of posts which document my opinions and approach to DJing at a milonga. In the previous post, I had described the variety of dancers one encounters in the milonga, and my belief that the diversity of Tango music¹ reflects this variety of dancers.

Tango music is hard!

Lets face it — The first introduction to Tango music can be very confusing.

Where is the beat?

This will probably be the first question that a new dancer or someone who has danced other dances will ask. Except in rare instances, Tango music orchestras did not have percussion instruments. …


A Pragmatic Guide

The Dancers

In my previous post, I outlined my general approach to DJing in a milonga — Try to get as many people to dance as often as possible, without letting personal preferences or ego getting in the way.

To be able to do this, it helped me to understand my audience. As a DJ, I spend a lot of time looking at people dancing — seeing what gets them looking for a partner, what kinds of music makes them laugh, feel connected or bored. …


A pragmatic guide

My general approach

Image Credit: https://peopleoftango.com/2018/01/21/jun-yi-tango-dj/

I have been listening to Tango music and DJing for nearly seven years now. When I started dancing Tango in India, DJing happened because of necessity: no one really wanted to spend their time making playlists. Thence started my DJing journey.

I spent an incredible amount of time early on listening to Tango music, downloading it, selecting what appealed to me and reading all sorts of guides on the internet. Many Tango DJs are incredibly generous and post tandas they create online. Listening to these tandas and reading about why they appealed to their creators also played an important role…

Chhavi and Joy

Just another couple passing through life, writing about what they have learnt and experienced along the way.

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