Milonga, a very fun rhythmic and passionate dance, uses the same basic elements as Tango, but requires a greater relaxation of legs and body. Movement is normally faster than Tango, with no pausing. The Milonga can be danced either open or close embrace and incorporates many of the normal tango steps. It is played and danced in 2/4 beat rather than the standard 4/4 and generally every beat (or sub-beat) is stepped on.
The Milonga rhythm allows you to play with the rhythms until you feel like you are a part of the song.
The Milonga originated in the Río de la Plata area of Argentina and Uruguay and was very popular in the 1870s. Milonga resulted from a fusion of many cultural dances, including the Cuban Habanera, the Mazurka, the Polka and the Brazilian Macumba. In addition to this, there were two very significant influences: the Candombé and the Payada.
Buenos Aires was itself a major hub for African slaves, who also brought along their Candombé to that area. Even after slavery was abolished, in 1853, the Candombé flourished. The local population who danced with the descendants of these slaves, added their own touches, in particular the embrace, and the Candombé evolved into the milonga.
Over time, dance steps and other musical influences were added, eventually giving rise to the tango.
There are two distinct styles of Milonga: Milonga Lisa in which the dancer steps on every beat of the music; and Milonga con Traspié, in which the dancer uses Traspiés or contrapasos (changes of weight from one foot to the other and back again in double time or three steps in two beats) to interpret the music. Actually the traspie step is a triple step where we use quicks instead of slow beats in milonga.
The Milonga Traspié style is relatively new and has its origins in the tango/milonga move called “traspié”, which in the Buenos Aires jargon stands for”wrong step”. Basically this a change of weight from one foot to the other in a syncopated manner. Originally the tango/milonga dancers used to include some “traspiés” in their dance, but just some.
Diego Lanau and Lisette Perelle dance a lively milonga con traspié recently at the Metronome Ballroom in San Francisco.
Much too often, people sit out when the DJ puts on a milonga. This weekend is your chance to properly learn the Milonga, so you can get out on the floor and enjoy this dance! There are two Milonga workshops this weekend to choose from.
Milonga Workshops Diego Lanau & Luz Castineiras in Berkeley and Orlando Farias’ Milonga Traspie & Canyengue class in San Jose
Milonga Workshops Diego Lanau & Luz Castineiras
When: Saturday, Jun. 9
3:00 – 4:30 Milonga Traspie II. Rhythmical Combinations
4:30 – 6:00 Milonga Traspie III. Change of Dynamics.
Cost: At the door $30, Pre registration prices:2 for $30
Location: The Beat,2560 9th St.,Berkeley, CA Map
What You Will Learn:
• Milonga Lisa and Traspie. Level I, II, III
• Technique for leading and following: posture, footwork, embrace and connection
• Technique for developing speed and quickness while staying grounded
• Musicality: playing with rhythmical patterns and change of dynamics
Contact Luz or Diego for more info: