Sunday 30 October 2011

European Milongueros - Alja Ferme & Saso Zivanovic

And here I am again: Impruneta! This small town in the tuscan hills is the site of one of Italy‘s most respected events for Milongueros: The Raduno Milonguero organised by Tango Firenze. And it is the place where I am meeting two young dancers, who‘ve been crossing my path repeatedly in the last three years. 
The first time I met Saso and Alja at a Milonga in Paris, it was Céline, who pointed them out to me. It was September 2008. Céline had danced with Saso and liked it very much. And indeed: my first Tanda with the young Slovenian was very, very nice. He would not do anything fancy, basically just walk - but he had a great musicality and a cuddly embrace. Since then, we‘ve been dancing often as we share a highly compatible musicality, especially when it comes to rhythmic music like Biagi or Canaro. When we dance, it is, as if the music was leading us. You can really not tell, who‘s giving the impulses. Sometimes, we start laughing in mid-Tango, because we just had another magical moment. People must think that we‘re totally nuts!
As for Alja: she developed in no time to one of the favourite dancers of my male friends and I can very well understand them. Her soft embrace and calm attention make it a pleasure to dance with her. (I know by own experience.) Also, what I like a lot: Alja is a very understated and serious young lady. She wears almost no make-up or fancy dresses, neither does she use an overdose of decorations. She does not need that to attract dancers!
What more can I tell you about my friends?
Saso studied mathematics and is now a professor for linguistics at the university of Ljubljana. Alja is a linguist and teaches at Nova Gorica University. Both are highly analytic and you can tell by the questions they ask during class! 
They have discovered Tango in early 2004 and been taking classes with several teachers: Enrique & Judith, Maria Plazaola, Pascale Coquigny, Thierry Le Cocq, Pablo & Noelia, Jennifer Bratt & Ney Melo. But, like us, they developed most of their technique and ideas by starting to teach and trying to figure out what they do. When they first came to one of our workshops in Ferrara, Italy, they were very relieved to find that we had developed some similar principles concerning circular movements for the communication. This is why I love Tango: You can live in a totally different part of the world and still come to the same conclusions, if you try to analyse body-movements and interaction. Saso‘s and Alja‘s teaching principles are very comparable to ours: basic work on technique and musicality. They have been teaching in Slovenia, Hungary, Italy and Germany so far and I hope, they‘ll be invited to more places in the next years!
Apart from „normal“ work and teaching Tango, Saso and Alja travel all over Europe to meet their friends at the Encuentros Milongueros. A Festivalito without the "Slovenian gang" is just not complete! And they even organise one: The lovely and very international Festivalito Rural in Celje, Slovenia. The "embassadors of embrace" and their friends create an intimate event for Milongueros, that I have discussed in an earlier blog

By the way, Saso and Alja come with a group of friends: Blaz Demsar, another young Milonguero, who organizes the "Raduno Rural" in Slovenia. Francesco Bruno, an Italian, who just finished his Banoneon studies in Rotterdam and who co-operates with his friends in musicality classes. And several others, who share their and our view of social Tango. It's always great to meet them!
I am very proud to say, that we‘ve influenced the recent development of these two as dancers and teachers. In 2010 and 2011, Alja and Saso have taken several workshops with us, just recently during a week of intensive studies in the south of France. That‘s always a nice opportunity to dig deeper into Tango and friendship. But no matter how much we work with Saso and Alja, they will never simply imitate our ideas without questioning them. Whatever they see and feel, they will surely convert it into something of their own. And this is why we learn from them as well!
And now, please have a look at two videos:
- Video 1 shows them dancing at a Festivalito in Freiburg.
- Video 2 shows impressions of their Festivalito Rural 2011. (As we've been invited to teach  at this event, there are some short impressions of our demo as well. I cannot avoid that, sorry.)


Andreas said...

Saso and Blaz are truly inspiring dancers, and Alja is a miracle.

Amanda said...

agree :).