How and when MPTango started:
I started tango as a homage to my father, who died very young. He was a tango dancer, but I never had the opportunity to see him dance. I wanted to know about his passion; I thought that tango could be something special between me and him. From the start, about sixteen years ago, I was interested in finding out about the tango of the past, the tango of the days when my father was young.
Certainly because I was trying to reconstruct the history …
I had some very interesting conversations about tango in the old times with Elvira Santamaría, the partner of “Virulazo”. On one occasion, at “Region Leonesa”, Carlos Gavito was sitting near me: he turned his head towards where I was and he “cabeceo” me. I looked left and right to make sure that the invitation was for me and not for another woman that might be near me. Gavito confirmed his “cabeceo” and smiled at me. I would never forget this day. I remember very well what happend with him on the dance floor: I cannot say what I enjoyed the most, whether the dance or the chat I had with him. The same was happening to me with other milogueros who are not famous, those who are known and respected in Buenos Aires, but not so much around the world because they have never traveled and many of them do not teach. They are the ones who started dancing when they were children or teenagers. They got to know personally the great orchestras’ conductors.
These old milongueros grew up in a different Buenos Aires, a Buenos Aires where you could feel tango in the air; they were breathing tango in the city during those days. By now they have been dancing tango for fifty, sixty years or even more. They keep the pure essence of tango. They entered tango quietly and they are dyeing much in the same way. These people have always danced tango and they will keep doing it for the rest of their lives because tango is a part of them. If one day tango will cease to be interesting to the rest of humanity, they will keep dancing. I know that I am lucky to have had the opportunity to go to the traditional milongas where I know, I listen to and dance with these old milongueros. On the other hand, I feel really sad when I see one of their chairs empty, those are the ones who are already gone, or when I listen to a tango that reminds me of those who are no longer there. I have been thinking for a few years of the great loss that is not having them amongst us anymore. Because of this, I decided to transmit as much of their knowledge as possible and of that tango tradition that they have taken care of, to preserve its essence. With this in mind, in June 2010 I started PractiMilonguero.
In June 2012, MPTango opened its doors. This is where PractiMilonguero hosts its activities and where, with the help of the old milongueros, we contribute with genuine information to social tango: giving lessons, organizing conferences, leading practice sessions, etc.
I have a deep commitment to tango and to its values. MPTango is the highest point of a process that has followed a path lead by my heart. It is something I feel as necessary. It is my modest tribute to my roots and of which my father is the inspiration. My husband who accompanies me and the milongueros confirm that this path I have chosen is not wrong. My endless thanks to all of them.Mónica Paz