The iTangoCafe.com Milonguero Historic Preservation Project
What is this project?
During a seven year period from 1988 through 1995, Daniel Trenner was frequently visiting Buenos Aries and during these trips he recorded literally hundreds of hours of interviews with golden age dancers, rare performances, class demos, instructional clips, and much more. This footage has never been seen by the public and while of little, if any, commercial value it is of significant historical value. Currently these hours of interviews are simply sitting on Daniel's shelves, slowly degrading because of their current analog format. If this material is not digitized soon it will likely be lost forever. That said, a considerable amount of work (and financial investment) will be needed to bring this body of historic content into a format that can be shared with today's tango world and preserved for future generations.
We have created this project to begin the process of saving this important and historical part of Argentine Tango's past. Twenty percent of every purchase of a Master's Series Milonguero video (V300 series), that is made until this project is completed, will go towards making this work a reality. As money begins to come in the first of it will be spent on sorting out the most valuable of these sessions, digitizing them, and doing the necessary work to release them to the public through iTangoCafe.com and YouTube.
This is a large project and we welcome all contributions, of money or work. In addition to donations, we are also in need of transcriptions, and translations, for this material (Spanish and English). Native Spanish speakers who are fluent in English are ideal. With a working knowledge of Argentine usage, even better. If you are interested in participating in this project, contact daniel at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a Milonguero?
As with most things, depending who you ask you are likely to get a variety of answers and here Daniel will answer that question for you.
There are still many Milongueros in Buenos Aires. There will always be Milongueros, because the term refers to people who live the life of the Milonga, or the dance hall. They are real, we do not contest that.
But it is also true that tango suffered, as did all of Argentine society, a great gap of almost 30 years during which, while tango continued to happen in a hidden and understated way, it would have been impossible for anyone to live a Milonguero life style. This means that there were golden age Milongueros, those that learned in the Salons of the 40s when they were youngsters, and that there are modern Milongueros, those that have learned in the Salons of tango's modern revival, 1982 and forward. Age is a factor in determining who is who.
1953-1955, are the dates most often noted for the end of the Golden Years, and the beginning of the period of Military repression. If you had ten years of tango under your belt in 1955 you would be the youngest person for whom it would have been possible to lead a Milonguero life for enough time, 10 years, to actually be considered good at it. (Though 20 years would have been better. But for argument's sake let's go with 10 years.) Let's say he, or she, started going out at 18, that makes he or she 28, in 1955. These people, the youngest possible Milongueros of the Golden Age, would be 83 this year (2010). So, today there are not many of them left. Again, those who are younger may well be "Milongueros", by modern definition, but they have accumulated the bulk of their tango experience during tango's modern revival. Claims of experience of "golden age" tango, by younger older people, should be taken with this grain of salt.
These youngest "Golden Age Milongerous" would have been 63 years old in 1990, when Daniel began his film archiving. While approximately 70 volumes of instructional video were produced by 40 plus artists, some of which are now being re-released in digital form here on itangocafe, there are hundreds of hours of footage sitting on Daniel's shelves that have never been seen by the public. Much of this footage is of people being interviewed about tango's history, and their personal tango stories. We look forward to bringing this material to you as this project develops.
Congratulations for participating in this work by visiting iTangoCafe, purchasing videos, and making donations of your time and money.
MORE FROM ITANGOCAFE
Copyright 2010-2014, iTangoCafe