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Sunset Tango

posted Dec 27, 2015, 11:47 PM by Malevos Tango   [ updated Dec 27, 2015, 11:49 PM ]

Sunset Tango

Sandra and Felipe have Spanish names, but they are actually Chinese. She is from Hong Kong and he is from Taiwan. They are a couple in life and on the dance floor. Tango performers and instructors, they were in Macau to teach Argentinean Tango for the first time back in November, joining up with João Fonseca’s project in the basement of the Cathedral Café near Senado Square.

Hong Kong dancers teach locals how to Tango
“Don’t think too much about the steps,” Felipe Hsieh says to the students. “Tango is just like walking”. 
The couple co-founded Malevos Tango School in Hong Kong and for the past ten years have been invited to dance and teach in Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul, Ho Chi Minh and Sydney. They have danced together since 2007 and frequently visit Argentina to hone their skills.
As the class comes to an end, for a moment, one could imagine that this group of dancers is not in a basement in Macau. Wine is poured into glasses, the dancers rest and the music continues to play loudly.  We could easily be somewhere in Argentina.
João Fonseca started to teach Tango in 2006. He is not professional, but part of a local Tango community of around 30 people. 
“Because João is not professional and the Tango community in Macau is small, he wants to bring more professional teachers from Hong Kong every week,” Sandra says.
The duo is hoping to come to Macau more often, although there is no specific plan yet.
In their first class, they teach the local students the fundamental ideas about Argentinian Tango, such as the feeling of the man leading and the lady following.
“A recurrent problem for the ladies all around the world is that they forget that real Tango for the ladies is to follow,” the teacher says.
“Tango is old-fashioned, traditional and masculino (manly). Ladies are strong in Tango, but she is a lady, so I [as a dancer] need to protect and serve her. Tango is about communication, not only following steps,” Felipe explains.
This local Tango community meets every Wednesday at the Cathedral Café to learn Tango and Milonga and take part in practice sessions. Classes start at 8 pm, while Tango parties kick off at 11:30pm. People can join both activities for free.
Milonga dance includes the same basic elements as Tango but permits a greater relaxation of legs and body. Movement is normally faster and there are no pauses. It is a kind of rhythmic walking without complicated moves, with a more humorous and rustic style, in contrast to the serious and dramatic characteristics of Tango.
Workshops are regularly held, inviting teachers and dancers from Hong Kong. The next event will take place in March with Argentinian master dancers Fernanda Grosso and Alejandro Ferreyra.
João teaches several dance styles, but he fell in love with Tango 16 years ago. 
“It is a different and healthy way to spend our free-time and get along with other people that also have fallen in love with this dance style,” he says.