Thank you Charles for pointing out once again (as I have been doing for 
over a decade on this very List)
the legendary nature of tango history.

>>>>>Some "milongueros" even stopped dancing completely for many years but 
as tango became newly popular again and potentially profitable, they 
conveniently left out that part.<<<<

Most of the milongueros we met in the late 80s and early 90s (among the 
well-known ones Finito Ribera and Pupi Castello) told us that they had stopped 
dancing tango for 20-25 years previous to the early '80s, mostly giving family 
as the principal reason although given the attitude or the Argentine government 
to tango during many of these years, there may be additional reasons. 
Thus Fino, who was considered the best social 
dancer of the '80s, who died in 1987 at the age of about 55, could not have 
been dancing more than a total of, if he started at 15, 20 years or so max. 
So probably a majority of the "old milongueros" who say they have been dancing 
for over 50 years and claim to have danced during the '40s are exaggerating 
especially if they are under 75.

As for the origins of close embrace, Tete was, as far as I know, one of the 
to teach the style, in 1993 or 4, under the auspices of Susana Miller. In 1994 
Daniel Trenner told me all about him, her and milonguero style as the only true 
form of social tango. He then began to propagate this myth at Stanford Tango 

In 1987, and probably for decades or a century previous, a very simple form of 
close embrace was prevalent in the center of town, but not in other barrios. 
Of course I only know what I have experienced, much of which may not be true
even as experience. That is the nature of tango.

On our last trip to BsAs I bought a book which related a story about me that 
while flattering wasn't at all true. And an aspiring tango historian told me 
another store about myself, even more flattering, with even less basis in 

So I take all tango history, especially stories told by milongueros, 
including descriptions of what is happening right 
now in the milongas and even my own experience, as myth and legend and advise 
any truth seekers to remain skeptical. Twenty years ago, before tango
in Buenos Aires became an international commodity, there was more accurate 
information to be gleaned, maybe . . . .  

Barbara in Puerto Vallarta


>Igor wrote:
> <Tete is one of the Greatest living Masters of Tango.
>I am sure he does not give a dime about your opinion about him. Neither do
>we - those who like him, value his dancing, and consider him as a teacher.>
>What I wrote about Tete not originating close embrace is a simple fact, not 
>an opinion. You will learn as you hopefully gain more experience and 
>perspective that many milongueros (even the admired ones who genuinely dance 
>very well) 
>have a tendency to fabricate their place in tango history; sometimes it's a 
>minor falsehood, but unfortunately too often it is an egregious lie, as in 
>case.   Some "milongueros" even stopped dancing completely for many years but 
>as tango became newly popular again and potentially profitable, they 
>conveniently left out that part.   It often is a little painful and 
>disappointing to 
>learn the reality. They count on people like you who have not been around long 
>enough to dispute whatever claims they make, but some of us have a little more 
>tenure in the tango world. Nobody originated close embrace, especially not 
>Tete. People have danced close for probably a century. That is one of the 
>it gained the reputation very early as a scandalous and erotic dance. 
>There are things to be learned from Tete but thinking that "Tete is one of 
>the greatest (?!) living masters of tango"   is definitely a personal opinion, 
>and that is fine, but saying that he did not originate close embrace is not.   
>It is a fact. 
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