by Jackie Ling Wong
Scene: At Salon Canning in between dances. Rui Lopes is translating and Tanya is watching and listening while doing the eye contact thing. Multi tasking. I was Rui's partner for his private with Roberto and I was impressed with his passion for the dance. The interview was short due to our being constantly interrupted by dancing. Can you imagine..wanting to dance at a milonga?! :-)
Q: How would you define your style?
Robert: Milonguero Avanzado....and I improvise all the time, even in shows.
Q: Please give me a list of adjectives that you would use to describe tango?
Robert: Passion and energetic.
Q: That's interesting. How do you mix the two?
Robert: Passion because in your arms, you have a woman. Energetic because it comes from the heart.
Q: You had mentioned earlier a code for dance partners. Could you explain the code?
Robert: Do not betray the other. Have respect. Sometimes the partner will steal students and have performances with other partners. In professional relationships, you only dance with each other.
Q: Please describe your best tango experience?
Robert: I have found my best relationships in the Tango. Also with foreigners, who I could not share a single word, yet I can speak through the dance.
Q: Your worst tango experience?
Robert: The worst experience is that people are not teaching the tango properly. It's not just steps. The important thing is that the man has a woman in his arms and he's listening to the music.
Q: And finally, what are your feelings about Nuevo Tango?
Robert: I, as a milonguero, and others recognize the thing that Astor Piazzolla did...which was to bring young people to Tango and to make it popular around the world. I dance to Piazzolla and many of the milongueros hate to dance to his music.