Humans of Tango

Bimonthly-ish podcast exploring what tango has to teach through the experiences of those who dance it.

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Saturday May 04, 2024

What does environmental psychology have to do with tango? Quite a lot, it turns out. Tango DJ, teacher, organizer, and social dancer Avik Basu lays it out for us.
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “Sin Palabras” by Mariano Mores, with lyrics by Enrique Santos Discépolo and performed by Aníbal Troilo y Su Orquesta Típica with Alberto Marino | Image Credit: Steven Thull
Show Notes
Learn more about Avik's work and play in tango and environmental psychology, then learn more about the Inner Experience of Tango survey. (Bonus: listen to Avik on Joe's Tango Podcast!)
Read about Avik's first teachers, Yelena Sinelnikova and Ramu Pyreddy, and the college club in Ann Arbor where Avik started dancing.
Learn more about Mihaly Csikszentmihaly's theory of flow via video or text, then read Charles Walker's chapter on social flow.
Avik mentioned learning from the embraces of Alex Krebs, Cacho Dante, and Gustavo Naveira. Read some musings from Cacho Dante (RIP), then check out Gustavo's and Alex's respective websites.  
Read a transcript of Avik's episode here.

Friday Feb 02, 2024

"When I was twenty, this was NOT possible..."A lot has changed in the 25+ years since Sol Orozco started dancing tango in Buenos Aires. Luckily, Sol is a big believer in change - in her own life and in the world around her.
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “Ilusión de Mi Vida” by Feliciano Brunelli, arranged and recorded by Asato-Pais Duo | Image Credit: Oscar Chang Photography
Show Notes
The music in Sol's episode is a contemporary interpretation by Asato Pais Duo of "Ilusión de Mi Vida." (Read Spanish? Here's some history about the song.) Asato Pais were among the artists gracing the Garufa TangoFest stage. Learn more about them on their website, where you can also find their social channels, including the adorable and incredibly informative music education videos they post on YouTube!
Watch one of my favorite videos of Sol performing (with Juan), then watch a video by Heyni Solera featuring Sol.
Listen to Humans of Tango episodes featuring Juan Cantone and Heyni Solera.
If you have any doubts about why Sol’s family might think of the U.S. as the “big bad monster,” here's some useful background.
Read about the history of knives in tango (and/or watch a video by the same author).
Follow Garufa TangoFest on Facebook or Instagram to stay tuned for August 2024! (Bonus: Watch Juan and his current partner, Virginia Cutillo, perform at the 2023 edition.)
Want to study with Sol? You can follow and contact her through Facebook and Instagram.
Read a transcript of Sol's episode here.

Tuesday Dec 12, 2023

“ many people in this world, within their own cultural frames, are not able to do everything with their body they could do. And that's a pity.”
Austrian dancer and academic Arno Plass shares what he's learned while talking and dancing his way around Europe and South America for a PhD project on the transformative power of queer tango. 
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “Flor de Montserrat,” composed by Juan Santini with lyrics by Vicente Planells del Campo and arranged and recorded by Sexteto Cristal with Guillermo Rozenthuler | Image Credit: Martín Pérez
Show Notes
Watch Arno's "Una Tanda Queer Con..." series and visit his website to learn more about his work. 
Check out Chamuyo Queer's website or follow on Facebook / Instagram to see what's planned for 2024 - including an online Conversatorio like the one that inspired Arno's PhD project!
Listen to the Humans of Tango episode featuring Alex Pacheco Castillo.
Watch Arno's "Una Tanda Queer con..." interview with Gonze E. 
Watch Rocío Lequio (of Rocío and Bruno, the couple Arno mentions visiting Vienna) queering her tango with Gaby Mataloni.
Read a transcript of Arno's episode here.

Sunday Oct 08, 2023

Yolanda Romero Hume gives new meaning to the aphorism YOLO (a.k.a. carpe diem). Find out how she makes the most of every day - in her local DC tango community and around the world.
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “El Adiós” composed by Maruja Pacheco Huergo with lyrics by Virgilio San Clemente and arranged and recorded by Sexteto Cristal with Guillermo Rozenthuler | Image Credit: Unknown
Show Notes
Watch a mini-tour of the tango studio in Yolanda's house, featuring paintings by another epic DC-area tanguera - Viviana Levinson.
Watch videos of Jake Spatz; Alejandro Barrientos and Rosalía Gasso; Martín Maldonado and Maurizio Ghella; Serkan Gokcesu and Ozhan Araz; Juan Cantone and Sol Orozco; and Marcelo Gutierrez. (You can also find/connect with most of these folks via Facebook and/or Instagram.)
Listen to the episode of Humans of Tango featuring one of Yolanda's tango children, Juan Cantone.
Read a transcript of Yolanda's episode here.

Tuesday Aug 08, 2023

South Korean honorary New Yorker London Hong thought he was too old to become a professional dancer. Then he fell in love with tango.
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “Yunta de Oro” composed by Osvaldo Ruggiero and performed and recorded by Tango Bardo | Image Credit: Irina Novak
Show Notes
Watch the Forever Tango performance featuring Carlos Gavito and Marcela Durán that first inspired London’s tango obsession.
Listen to some of London's bandoneon maestros - Rodolfo Zanetti, Javier Sanchez, and Hector Del Curto - and to the NYC-based band London helped found, "Los Peores del Tango."
Visit the website of the tango academy London founded with his dance partner, Sol, or go straight to their YouTube channel.
Learn more about the World Tango Championship (from a former champion!) and check for 2023 updates on the government website of Buenos Aires (en español).
Read a transcript of London's episode here.

Wednesday May 17, 2023

"The tango dancing is going to happen, and you don't need to push that hard."
Aníbal Dominguez was on the verge of quitting tango when he discovered contact improv. Since then, dancing has only gotten better...
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “En un Bondi Color Humo” performed by Daniel Melingo with lyrics by Luis Alposta | Image Credit: Alejandro Persichetti
Show Notes
Listen to the radio station Aníbal grew up with, Radio Clarín.
Learn more about Montevideo’s carnaval.
Learn more about Colectivo Periférico in this video that includes Aníbal and one of the teachers he mentions, Eduardo Ferrer (who was also one of my teachers when I lived in Montevideo).
Watch an improvised solo by the founder of contact improv, Steve Paxton.
Watch Daniel Melingo perform "En un Bondi Color Humo" live and read how he created the song, then check out the original poem in Spanish or German on the blog of its author, Luis Alposta.
Read a transcript of Aníbal's episode here.

Sunday Mar 26, 2023

When Ayano Yoneda moved from her native Japan to San Francisco for a job in finance, she never imagined that a chance encounter with a Halloween "Cinderella's ball" would change her life forever...
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “Ninguna” written by Raúl Fernández Siro with lyrics by Homero Manzi and performed by Angel D'Agostino y Su Orquesta Típica with Angel Vargas; and “Amarras,” written by Carlos Marchisio with lyrics by Carmelo Santiago and performed by Alberto Castillo y su Orquesta Típica | Image Credit: Mido Kwon
Show Notes
Learn more about the Tango Poetry Project and watch past lectures on their YouTube channel.
Learn more about Ayano and Felipe and stay updated on their activities. (You can also listen to Felipe's Humans of Tango episode.)
When we spoke, Ayano shared her appreciation for interviews. Some of her favorite sources are Joe's Tango Podcast, Tengo una pregunta para vos, Informal Tango Interviews, and Tango Angeles (I particularly love their episode about Tango Poetry Project). And if you understand Japanese, listen to an interview with Ayano in her native language!
Follow Ayano's teacher Javier Rodriguez on Facebook, or just enjoy watching him perform on YouTube.
Read English translations of "Ninguna" and "Amarras." Also worth noting that the most famous version of "Amarras" was recorded by Héctor Mauré with Juan D'Arienzo y su Orquesta Típica.
Read a transcript of Ayano's episode here.

Sunday Feb 05, 2023

“...I feel like if tango was more diverse, it would just be richer and more interesting.”
Anthea Okereke’s tango journey has had plenty of highs and lows - but her passion keeps her making a heart with her hands, even when she has to roll her eyes through it.
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “Viento Norte” written by Juan Carlos Suncho and performed by Sexteto Cristal | Image Credit: John Connatty
Show Notes
Watch Anthea and 5 other brilliant tangueras talk about "Racism, Inclusivity, and Tango" on YouTube or Facebook.
Hear more about stories and stereotypes in a TED Talk by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Anthea refers to "wintering," a term I picked up (and introduced to our conversation) after reading Katherine May's Wintering. Highly recommend!
Read a transcript of Anthea's episode here.

Thursday Dec 15, 2022

Nel Mastrodomenico fell in love with tango music in the tango bars of his native Colombia - but it took an international move in pursuit of the Australian dream to get him dancing and DJing. Today, Nel lives his own Argentinian dream in Buenos Aires.
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “Toda mi Vida” written by José María Contursi y Aníbal Troilo and performed by Aníbal Troilo y su Orquesta Típica with Francisco Fiorentino | Image Credit: Dos Orillas Practica de Tango Buenos Aires
Show Notes
This episode includes clips of Carlos Gardel singing "Tango Argentino" by Alfredo Bigeschi and Juan Maglio "Pacho" and Juan D'Arienzo y Su Orquesta Típica performing "El Pollito" by Francisco Canaro.
Get familiar with Colombia’s history with tango legend Carlos Gardel (en español).
Read more about the International Day of Tango and Argentina’s National Bandoneon Day.
Nerd out about how records are made.
Learn how political strife and rock n' roll affected tango in Argentina and Uruguay.
Follow Nel on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook.
Read a transcript of Nel's episode here.

Tuesday Oct 18, 2022

Queer tango teacher and change maker Alex Pacheco Castillo talks about why inclusion is not the same as belonging and what she's doing to foster community in her hometown of Mexico City.
Producer/Host: Liz Sabatiuk | Music: “Bailemos” written by Cholo Mamona and Reinaldo Yiso and performed by Susanita Peña | Image Credit: Tango Queer Uruguay
Show Notes
Download the free eBook Alex and I contributed to, Queer Tango Futures: Dancing for Change in a Post-Covid World. 
Watch Facebook Live interviews with Gonzalo Souto, Alex's first teacher, and Alex herself (in Spanish).
Alex credits Leticia Nieto with introducing her to many of the ideas that shape her approach to tango, including the distinction between inclusion and belonging. Learn more about Dr. Nieto's 2010 book Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment.
Here are links to sources of the statistics mentioned: >70% of women in Mexico have experienced some kind of violence; >70% say they feel unsafe in their daily lives; >1,000 women in Mexico were murdered for gender-based reasons in 2021, a 137% increase since 2015; at least 461 people from Mexico’s LGBT+ community died between 2017 and 2021 from violence presumed to be related to their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Read a transcript of Alex's episode here.


This podcast offers an authentic glimpse into who dances tango and why. Along the way we'll explore what their experiences can teach us all about being and connecting in the world.

Photo Credit: Jaime Montemayor; pictured are producer/host Liz Sabatiuk (left) with Aja Fenn.

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