In Strangers’ Arms

The Magic of the Tango


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About the Book

The tango is easily the most iconic dance of the last century, its images as familiar as an old friend. But are they the whole story? Peeling back the poster propaganda that has always characterized the tango publicly, this intimate study shows the invisible heart of the dance and the culture that raised it. Drawing on direct experience and conversations with dancers, it reveals much about the role of the tango in Argentinean culture. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Beatriz Dujovne was born and raised in Buenos Aires, and has lived half of her adult life in the American Midwest. She received a graduate degree in psychology from the University of Buenos Aires, and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. She was awarded the honor of Academician representative of the National Academy of Tango in the United States from the National Academy of Tango in Buenos Aires. She now dances in Buenos Aires and in the United States.

Bibliographic Details

Beatriz Dujovne

Foreword by Alejandro Martino

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 49 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6389-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8679-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Foreword by Alejandro Martino 1
Introduction: More Than Fishnets and Fedoras 3

1. In Strangers’ Arms 25
2. Buenos Aires: Connection Metropolis 37
3. Shadows in the Temple: Inside the Milongas 54
4. The Invisible Heart of the Dance 76

5. La Boca: The Rebel Embrace 93
6. San Telmo: Improvisation in the Wilderness 114
7. The World Milonga: Tango Gypsies of the 21st Century 128

8. The Conversation of Song 145
9. Milonguita: A Thread of the Tango Epic 164
10. Four Weeks and a Lifetime with Alberto Podestá 186

Epilogue: The Tango in All of Us 201
Bibliography 209
Table of Lyrics 215
Index 217

Book Reviews & Awards

• “In Strangers’ Arms is both an evocative ballad dedicated to Buenos Aires, and an effective and aesthetic anatomy of the dance form.”—Eric Van Young, University of California, San Diego

• “Unique among tango books published outside Argentina, In Strangers’ Arms brings us face to face with an intimate tango, one as far removed from the big stages as it is from the stereotype of the Latin male.”—Sergio Pujol, author of Discépolo, una biografía argentina

• “A must-read for tango aficionados. Beatriz Dujovne dispels the myths surrounding the dance and probes the heart of the tango in an honest and accurate portrayal of the dance and its allure.”—Alex Krebs, tango dancer and musician