BOOKS ABOUT TANGO


A new book in English

Tango Passion and the Rules of the Game

This is the English version published in 2011 of my book in Swedish, Tango i Buenos Aires – koder och passion, published in 2009. Linda Dyett, an author/editor friend in New York, polished my translation and edited the book.

In this book, the strict rules, códigos, and behavioural patterns at the traditional milongas (dance halls) of Buenos Aires are described. They constitute a frame around the tango, which in its unique embrace, el abrazo, is danced here with more devotion and passion than in any other tango environment in the world. Interspersed with the running text are the author’s personal diary notes from her intensive tango dancing sessions in Buenos Aires during the first decade of the twenty-first century. These diary entries add immediacy, local colour, and capsule descriptions of the capricious life lived in these tango salons, where circumstances can produce both tears of disappointment and intense pleasure.

The book can be ordered at:

www.abrazosbooks.com (16 euros) or margaretawestergard@msn.com

For sale in Buenos Aires:
KEL Ediciones, M.T. de Alvear 1369, tel. 4814-3788
Las Marianas, Suipacha 252, tel. 4328-3528

Neo Tango (zapatos de tango), Sarmiento 1938

Presentation of the book in Buenos Aires
On April 12, 2011, Tango Passion and the Rules of the Game was presented at the residence of the Swedish ambassador in Buenos Aires. The presentation which was done in Spanish can be seen in two parts on youtube:

 

The video was filmed by Brian Hendrie. Dancers: Claudio Gonzales & Melina Brufman plus at the end of the video Eduardo Teves together with the author. Bandoneón: Carlos Quilici. Presentations by the editor Daniel Canuti, Abrazos, the ambassador Charlotte Wrangberg and the author Margareta Westergård. Sonia Abadis reads a section from her book El bazar de los abrazos.

Review in Tango Reporter, July-August 2011, Los Angeles
The book Tango Passion, written originally in Swedish by the Swedish sociologist Margareta Westergard, has now been translated into English.
Having learned the dance in her native country, the author, wishing to polish her tango, started making frequent and long trips to Buenos Aires in the year 2000. Three years later, her assimilation and passion for the 2×4 led to her dedication to teaching tango in the coastal city of Simrishamn, in southern Sweden.

The chapters of this interesting book are the products of her experiences; it presents, in addition to the picturesque aspects of the Argentine and his socio-political environment, the codes of the milongas, the behavior of the dancers, the costumes, and in general the behavior exhibited inside and outside the milongas by the dancers, both male and female. In a manner both entertaining and with sharp-witted psychological penetration, Margareta blends the text with vivid paragraphs taken from diaries she kept during her various trips to Buenos Aires, in which she pours out her daily experiences, her personal impressions captured live on the streets and in the milongas of Tango City. Such a penetrating manner of addressing the tango world not only results in a manual on the tango as a dance form, but also a useful guidebook for those who journey to Buenos Aires to polish their own tango steps. The author has the tact and good taste only to write about her appreciation of the porteño and the milongas, and not to share with the readers – as other foreign authors of similar books have done in search of quick sales – local sexual adventures.

Margareta Westergard’s passion for the tango didn’t end with the dance, but continued with her writings on the subject and her Swedish translations of several tango books.

(Translated from Spanish by Margareta Westergård)

Comment on the book by Chan Park, author of ”Tango Zen: Walking Dance Meditation” and director of the documentary ”Tango Your Life”

”I am quite impressed with the dedication of the author in presenting the information, quantitative and qualitative, of the tango culture in Buenos Aires. Especially I appreciate that through her personal notes as well as reference materials she realistically and vividly describes the scenes in milongas, which could be invisible to an inexperienced eye. It is a must-read book for those who want to truly understand and enjoy the tango in Buenos Aires.”

The Swedish version received good reviews and much appreciation by the readers, both tango dancers and non tango dancers.

Extracts from the review of the Swedish version by Swedish Library Service
”The author succeeds, largely through her diary notes, in mediating a strong and private picture of the dance culture of Buenos Aires. The passion for the dance and of the individual participants is visualized, as are the rules which frame the passion and govern the dance scene – the codes of the milonga.

The book describes the author’s journey into a foreign culture, and may well be of interest not only to tango enthusiasts, but to a general readership.”

From the review in TangoNotiser of the Stockholm tango association Tango Norte:
”Margareta Westergård pilots the reader into the borderland of inner experiences and the external form of the tango, especially the social codes at the milongas in Buenos Aires, to which she has made many journeys during the past decade.

The feeling of peeping into someone’s diary doesn’t become uncomfortable; on the contrary, one may expect more private confessions. But a balance is maintained, and the passion in this book is mainly directed to dance experience.

In the balance between rules and passion, she succeeds in bñaeing both objective and personal. This book belongs in every Swedish tango friend’s home, whether a commuting tango tourist or simply someone who wants to understand more about what tango really is.”

BOOKS IN SWEDISH

Sonia Abadi: Milongan – omfamningarnas basar (2003)
Graciela H. López: En tangodanserskas hemligheter (2005)
Margareta Westergård: Tango i Buenos Aires – koder och passion (2009)
For more information, see the Swedish version on this website www.tangomar.se Böcker om tango

Book in Spanish

The first version in Spanish of my book, Tango pasión. Las reglas del juego. was published by Ediciones Lumiere, Buenos Aires, in April 2013. The translation was made from the English version by Margarita Guerra, Montevideo, Uruguay.

A second edition was published in November 2016 by Ediciones Corregidor, Rodriguez Peña 452, in Buenos Aires.

It is sold in a number of larger bookstores in Buenos Aires, such as Zivals, Callao 395, and Hernandez librerias, Corrientes 1311 and 1436, but also in the tango shoe shops Las Marianas, on Suipacha 252, and Neo Tango, Sarmiento 1938, and at Ediciones Corregidor, Rodriguez Peña 452, in Buenos Aires.

All the books above can also be ordered by sending an e-mail to margaretawestergard@msn.com