9If you ever listened to tango music, you probably noticed its multiple layers, its dramatic aspect that might be coming from the emotion in the voice, the sudden change of dynamics or the staccatos, for example. Just like the music, with 2 to 3 group classes per day, 2 practice times, 5 milongas with three different DJs and private classes for those who wished to go deeper, Auroville’s 6 th Holi Tango Festival was highly intense and colourful.

The festival kicked off at CRIPA with lots of beautiful hugs as tangueros and tangueras from almost all of the tango communities in India (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad,Pondicherry and Auroville) were happy to meet one another again. This year, there were also dancers from USA, Canada, France and Korea. Aurevan, one of the amazing organizer, asked us to reflect on what we wanted out of this festival and what tango wanted from us, to be generous, to take care of each other in and out of the dance floor; and so the tone was set.

Twice during the festival, the teachers conquered the heart of Auroville with their very different styles, one couple performing stage tango that is very dynamic and spectacular, the two others dancing salon tango which is danced socially in milongas.

The teachers, Pino and Caterina from Italy, Marianna and Vaggelis from Greece, and the newcomers to the festival, Judith and Christophe from France all gave us so much with such generosity. We learned a lot more than steps during these five days: we learned about the etiquette of tango, how to share the dance floor in a flowing manner, some principles of tai chi for better balance and connection, and how to really listen to the music and understand its different elements and subtleties. We were exposed to three very different approaches and styles, allowing us to eventually find our own tango.

The festival ended beautifully with us reflecting on our generosity, how we could let it flow even more, and the possible improvements for next year. What makes this festival even more special, apart from the charming surroundings, is the excellent organization carried out by Aurevan, Rima, Mahi and Lisa, and the fact that the tasks were shared amongst the local tango community and some amazing young Aurovilians who gave a lot of their time to decorate, set up and clean the venues. So it is a time where we truly come together and make it all happen. With a lot of emotion in the air, each participant thanked and hugged the teachers and the organizers. The festival is over, but images and sensations of a deep connection, of the warmth of an embrace and the melodies will linger with us for a long time. I hear a few people are ready to embark on the tango journey, and I think this is exactly what we need: more beauty and close embraces.

By Marie-Pierre for Auroville Art Service