A Moonlight Tango

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Lights, Camera, Action.

Those of you who know me well, know that alongside my tango life I am also a musician and composer. Recently, both of these worlds collided when I was asked to write a tango for an upcoming movie about tango. Although I have been writing music since I was 13 years old and dancing tango for decades, I was actually quite reluctant to embark on this project. I have such enormous respect for tango music and it's musicians, that I felt somewhat daunted. My heart gravitates towards the passion and intensity of Pugliese and the deep melancholy of Piazzolla, but I have a real soft spot for the elegant lyricism of Di Sarli, Fresado and Canaro. The lyrics and melodies of these beautiful tango songs have lived in my consciousness through countless milongas, performances and shows. They are my friends and teachers.
 
Tango music is fascinating in that it was written especially for the dance. Early tangos are more simplistic, rhythmically, lyrically and stylistically, as the dance composed of little more than forward and backward walks. The great golden age of tango evolved as both the music and the dance developed in complexity and nuance. As the dance repertoire expanded, the orchestration became more intricate and dynamic. Both operated together to create an amazing passionate synergy.
 
I was trained as a classical musician and songwriter. I also have quite a lots of experience with Jazz, but even though I have been dancing and listening to tango for what seems like forever, I was uncertain about composing in the genre. I was encouraged by the fact that this commission was for a “nuevo” tango with an electronic sound and that it’s lyrics were to  in english. The track was to be more tango flavour than tango classical. This gave me the sense that I could bring all my skills and experiences to bear on the project. Particularly my dance training. I wanted this music to move people to dance.
 
I began thinking about the women’s role in tango and what it meant to me. I wanted to express this as fully and sincerely as I could. I wanted to capture the heart of tango- it's sensuality,it's passion and intimacy, the sense of complete surrender and oneness, the dynamism of movement from within and without. I did my best.
 
So the track was finished and approved and then I needed to consider a music video for the song.
 
What a joy to be able to share this process with my choreographic team (who are like family at this point) and some of my other students. It was a fantastic experience to see the whole project come together and I am very happy with the results.So many options were filmed and of course not everything can be in the video, but the experience was immensely enjoyable and all the more so because we all had such fun together on the day.
 
Moonlight tango is my own little homage to the dance that has become such an important part of my life, a dance that has taught me as much about life and myself as it has about movement and technique.
 
It is my experience of oneness through art.
 
I really hope that it moves everyone to feel the dance.
 
Kristina Chaloir.