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When joy hits the dance floor with the Los Hermanos Macana

Photo credit to http://www.wikiblues.net/node/3277

Stereotypes would have us believe that tango is only about darkly passionate women wearing sexy dresses with fishnet stockings who are being seduced by slickly dressed handsome gentlemen, whose highly glossed patent leather shoes somehow manage to weave their way between dangerously pointed red leather high heels. While this serious side does indeed exist in the tango world, it is a common belief in tango’s history that men used to practice tango with other men, honing their skills while they passed the time waiting for their turn with one of the ladies of the night in the brothels of San Telmo and La Boca. It was the best way to surprise the other woman in your life with your fancy dancing skills without having to show how much you had been practicing.

While not a regular occurrence, it is also not uncommon to see men practicing with men (or women with women) in a practica setting (a place to practice what you learn) as it is often worthwhile to have someone who understands what step you are trying to achieve. However, it is not a given that a good leader makes a good follower - as leaders can find it hard to relinquish control and followers who lead might not be present enough in the embrace to convey a lead. Some teachers have been known to get couples to swap roles during the warm up in class, as a way to increase understanding and develop each dancer’s awareness of what each role entails. But we digress...

Challenging the conventional performance couple of man and woman are a duo of brothers called Los Hermanos Macana. Buenos Aires natives, they have made a name for themselves in the tango world for their charismatic and engaging performances since their first steps back in 1995. Talented choreographers and dancers, the brothers have performed around the world and even appeared in Robert Duvall’s 2001 movie Assassination Tango. Through playfulness and the sheer joy of dancing, they break the whispered ‘no no’ that you shouldn’t smile or laugh out loud on the milonga dance floor. They bring humour and delight to their shows through their dance and interaction.

One of their most famous videos is of them dancing the milonga ‘Reliquias portenas’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1L0lNiBnNM. Milonga has a stronger rhythm and is more spirited in its movements than tango.  But the brothers manage to sprinkle humour through their tango as well, as seen in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TNzCiy8iaY  where the Matrix meets the Tango on the streets of New York.

Tangueros and locals alike were in luck last night as, while there was standing room only, Los Hermanos Macanas are back in town and were giving a performance at the barrio milonga, Milonga Floreal, in Villa General Mitre. Most notable in their performances is the brothers’ musicality, where they use steps and movements to represent the melodic and rhythmic elements of the music. And last night was no exception, with flurries of ‘twinkle toed’ steps and controlled ganchos (hooks) in quick succession from those long legs. Judging by the whoops and catcalls from the crowd, they still have the magnetic energy after many performances and are well worth checking out if you have the chance.

For more information about Los Hermanos Macana, head to www.losmacanatango.com.

For more information about Milonga Floreal, find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/floreal.milonga or head along to Club Ciencia y Labor, César Díaz 2453 - Villa General Mitre

Sundays from 21h30 or from 8pm for the class. How to arrive: Metrobus, y colectivos 34, 63, 109, 110, 113, 135, 162 Y 166

Contact: florealmilonga@gmail.com y 15 5962 3195  (Marcelo Lavergata y Lucila Bardach)


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