Getting to Know: Twenty Tango Orchestras

Author – David Thomas – published this book in the UK but as tango is universal it should appeal to all us tango addicts.

Be Transported back to the Golden Age of Tango and bring back to life the best loved orchestras of then and now.

Who were the orchestra leaders, the musicians, and the singers that brought us this unique sound and what clues did they leave for us to recognise them?

You are invited inside for a closer embrace with the orchestras and to enrich your own personal tango journey.

From a review by one of our MPG Committee members

It’s good to know where these people come from, they often had hard lives, a lot of them worked as decorators (funny hey!) prior to embarking on tango compositions and gigs. I think it helps us understand the energy and stories they put in their music. 

He’s building a tango music family tree
The major good point is his “Signature sound” section for each orchestra, where the author explains what instrument, say, Lomuto, is adding to his orchestra, for smooth or sharp phrases in the songs, and he’s inviting the reader to listen to some representative songs by the orchestra on Youtube or on his own website, while reading the “Signature sound” section – sometimes listening to one instrument only in the song. 
I think it’s great to develop leaders’ awareness of the music. And it will add value to our Melbourne dance floor.”
We, MPG, have a small number of these books available for purchase at our Practicas (until we run out) at the cost of $ 25.00

Or you can purchase a copy online – 

tango music

MPG IN 2016

Yet another successful year for MPG. now nearing 5 years in existence and continually growing and refining what we can offer the Melbourne tango community.

2016 saw us hosting Maxi Christiani & Karina Colmeiro in March – their first time in Melbourne Their workshops were full, all Private classes were booked out and they treated us to a wonderful performance @ our Gala Milonga, these can be found under our “Video” heading.

In May we celebrated our 4th Birthday with  some birthday cake and champagne to wash it down with 🙂 Fun was had by all.

And before you could know it we had our AGM in July which saw a new line up on the committee

We have

  • President – Jerry Nairn
  • Vice President – Liz Pearse
  • Secretary – Anna Lindstad
  • Treasurer – Aysegul Altug
  • Ordinary Members – Caroline Lafargue & Tristan Adolphe
  • Honorary Member – Eddie Leoni

Nice group of dedicated people ready to work on behalf of our community.

One of the first decisions the newly elected committee made was to extend availability of free Practicas to all MPG members in recognition of their continued support.

MPG hosted Milonga Para Los Ninos in July with the aim of raising funds to provide some basic essentials for underprivileged children in South America. We donated 3 private classes with some of our Melbourne teachers,  we also organized two sponsors providing prizes of tango shoes and clothes. The lucky winners of the 5 prizes were drawn during the milonga and MPG was able to donate $ 2450 to the cause whilst absorbing all running costs.

In August MPG purchased one workshop with an Argentinean visiting teacher – Facundo Gil Jauregui – this was made available to our members free of charge and was very well attended.

Also in August Niki P and her  band of wonderful “helpers” facilitated MPG Tango Bazar for shoes & clothes, with both used and new items on offer.

Towards the end of 2016 we were able to offer a “focus” practica for those keen on perfecting their milonga. This was facilitated by one of MPG members, Jim Hayter, and supported by many.

In December – free outdoor milonga @ the Williamstown Rotunda facilitated by Liz & Tristan. This was family friendly event, really well attended, giving many the opportunity to bring along their children, mingle, dance and enjoy picnic. We were very lucky to have DJ Dimmer to offer his services gratis.

Our final milonga for 2016 – MPG Roaring Twenties Milonga was a “roaring success” – excuse the pun. With the highest number of attendees in our history.

All of our social events – Bella Union milongas and Buxton Hall milongas have shown steady growth and yet keep their unique warmth and friendliness. 

And our foundation event – Practica – continues to attract good number of dancers.

We now look forward to another successful year – 2017 !!

  • Men's Technique workshop with Maxi





MPG Milonga Para Los Niños

MPG has made it a it a “tradition ” to be involved in raising money for worthy causes on a yearly bases.

This year we chose a project that has strong links to our dance – Argentine tango.

The charity, Sociedad Para Los Niños Inc., was formalised by incorporation in Queensland, Australia in 2003.

This is their core value :

It is to directly assist ordinary people who add value to the lives of underprivileged children in South America. With the help of committee members in Argentina and others, we have established a supply chain to see that it happens without waste. To date, tools and goods have been distributed directly to destitute foster homes and locally based individuals who are doing amazing things with minimal resources to improve the lives of children. We have provided basic essentials such as staple food, warm clothing and shoes, bedding, light bulbs and window glass. We also provided cooking equipment, farm tools and gas reticulation for cooking and heating.

To ensure good financial outcome MPG had secured 2 sponsorships –

Tango Moments – Turquoise shoes to the value of $ 250

Regina Clothing – also to the vale of $ 250

We also purchased 3 private lessons with our local teachers – Rina & Nadim Renee & Doni, Marce & Hernan

This gave us in total 5 prizes that were drawn during the second half of the evening.

All running costs of this event were absorbed by MPG and as a result we were able to donate $ 2,400 – not a bad effort.

As well as doing the “right thing” great night was had, here are a few pics


MPG celebrates another birthday

On May 29th 2016 we celebrated our 4th birthday with a milonga @ Buxton Hall.

Many people joined us – some new to tango, some tango “veterans”, some we have not seen for a year or more and all those who have now become our regulars.

Buxton Hall was a great place for this special occasion, we had lovely DJ – Marce and the atmosphere was brilliant.

Yet another attendance record was broken and many, me inclusive, danced their feet off.

The night was very busy and so we had no time to take pics, but here is a link to a short video to give you a tiny glimpse.

As they say – picture paints a thousand words 🙂

We look forward to another successful year.


MPG overview of 2015

Another successful year for MPG, we

  • continue to consolidate our Practicas
  • Bella Union Milongas grew from strength to strength
  • Buxton Hall bi-monthly milongas have become the premier tango events in Melbourne
  • We celebrated our 3rd Birthday in May, who would have thought

As well as our regular events in April 2015 we donated to UNICEF Cyclone Pam Appeal to support the children affected by this natural disaster our Melbourne tango community supported this initiative with strong response.

In June we “purchased” a workshop with Cecilia Gonzales and  Facundo Gil Jauregui which was available to our members at no cost. Many took advantage of this.

In July we introduced the newly elected MPG Committee, this time with 6 members, making the sharing of our commitments and ideas more fun and workload easier.

August saw us hosting Pablo Inza and Sofia Saborido who were much appreciated by introducing a more “organic” way of teaching. This was their first time in Melbourne and it was a success for MPG and our members.

We also organized Musicality Workshop with Keith Elshaw who specializes in restoration of tango music from the golden era. His workshop was well attended and very, very interesting. MPG also purchased set of music from Keith to use in our Practicas, and he DJ-ed for us at BU  – lucky us.

The rest of the year continued with our regular events which now mean we have anywhere between 4 to 5 events each month.

New events and hosting are planned for 2016 and we are sure that with your support it will be another successful year.


November and nearing end of the year

Our last quarter proved to be another busy time.

As well as running our normal Practicas and milongas at Bella Union, we finished November with our bi-monthly Milonga @ Buxton Hall.

Attendance was in three digits, great atmosphere and it was good to see that most of our dancers were complying with the floor etiquette. As a special arrangement we had performance by a group of Rina & Nadim’s advanced students to the delight of all who attended.

Few pictures from this night are attached.

MPG’s happenings in August

We knew for few moths that August was going to be busy hosting Pablo Inza and Sofia Saborido, but as a late addition to our lineup for the month we also organized a Musicality Workshop with Keith Elshaw.

Keith started his working life as a radio DJ in Toronto, Canada, at the age of 13. Over the next 30 years he worked in radio presentation (DJ, advertising, voice-over etc.,) on Canadian and US radio. He then founded a recording studio (audio & video) in Toronto.

I was through his connection with the music world and North American entertainment industry that Tango found him. He became close friends with the cast from Tango Argentino (Juan Carlos Copes, Maria Nieves, Gavito, Christina Rey, Gloria & Eduardo) and mixed with them for over 10 years.
In his words, “I’ve been privileged to learn from the best there ever has been – the people who kept tango alive in Argentina from 1954 onwards and then brought it out to the world. The people whose children we all are, in that sense”.

Next step in his professional life was to start DJing at various tango events and realized that he was in a position to digitally “clean up” some of the old recordings and bring them into today’s standards.

Our Musicality Workshop took place on the 16th August, just prior to our regular Practica and was very well received.

MPG Committee made a decision to purchase some of his restored tango music so we can use it for the the enjoyment of our members at our Practicas.

We had a few days off in between before we welcomed Pablo Inza and Sofia Saborido into our midst. First time for both in Melbourne, arriving in a middle of really cold spell, however this did not stop them from delivering first class Seminars, workshops and beautiful performance at our Gala Milonga @ Buxton Hall.

Their Private lessons were booked out and all those who participated in any of the teaching offered spoke of the great delivery, the individual attention received to ensure that they would get the best out of their own dancing – knowledge shared professionally, with good humour and dedication – great time was had by all.

There is a small Gallery available, including couple of videos of their performances here

It was very busy, but satisfying month for MPG 🙂


MPG Fundraising Milonga 29th March

This was our regular bi monthly milonga however it took on an additional and more important role.

We are very lucky to live in this country where if natural disaster strikes us we have the facilities to get up, dust off and rebuild.

Not so with some of our neighbours.Vanuatu was stricken down by Cyclone Pam and without outside help they will not be able to try to regain even the most basic needs for so called “normal life”.

Quote from some of the victims of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu –
“Everything is gone.” 

In one night, Cyclone Pam reduced this Vanuatu village to kindling and mud.

So, how could we help ???? Even in the smallest way ……???

MPG Committee had decided to donate all entry fees from our Buxton Hall milonga on the 29th March to UNICEF Cyclone Pam Appeal.
We – MPG – would absorb the costs of hire, catering and DJ fees.
We had a figure in mind – $ 1,000

The attendance to this milonga was substantial, we could even go as far and say the highest number of people who danced with us at any one time.

The donations by the Melbourne tango community “blew us out of water” AND we had a great night at the same time.

UNICEF donation to Cyclone Pam Appeal

We are humbled by the generosity of the Melbourne tango community and need to say we could not have done it without the help of all our volunteers 🙂

Here are few pictures from the night –


MPG in 2014

2014 continued to be very positive year for MPG

Some of our original members from 2012- renewed their membership for the third time!! And we also welcomed new members into our ranks.

Practicas at Centrestage now have an established  group attending on regular basis. We have been lucky to have good DJs to provide our music.

In March we had Tangaloo deliver live music for us at our bi-monthly milonga.

Gonzalo Robinson re-visited us in April and donated some of his free time @ expertise at one of our Practicas.

Halfway through the year we introduced a second monthly milonga @ Bella Union. This was running as a trial for 3 months and proved to be “a goer”. We now dance at Bella Union twice a month – 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month.

In July we celebrated our 2nd birthday!!

In September MPG hosted Tango Evolution featuring Fabian Salas & Lola Diaz. This was a 3 day event and from all feedback was another successful event.

Also half way through the year we changed the venue for our bi-monthly milongas to Buxton Hall. So far, after 4 events here we could not be happier with the venue, its situation being close to public transport and close to CBD and the support this event has received.

We’ll continue into 2015 with firm belief that MPG provides a place for tango dancers to share, practice, improve and engage in social Argentine tango dance in an open community setting.

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