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Authentic Argentine Tango School
Carolina Zokalski and Diego Di Falco



Starting September 14th!!!

Monday from 6:30 to 7:30


The word milonga (in the African language Quimbunda) is the plural of 'Mulonga', which means 'word'. Hence milonga means 'words'.

To further explain the derivation of milonga, we note that gauchos (*early Argentinean cowboys - see detailed explanation below) roamed the rural area known as Pampa. These gauchos gathered and organized la payada de contrapunto (payada is pronounced pah-jah-dah, and essentially means singer) - which even to this day exist! This was a gathering of people in an open place, where the payadores competed through improvisation with guitars, in which one would start a song about any subject that came to mind - often death, God or love - and the other would retort with verses which were octosyllabic quartets structured in a musical period of eight measures in 2/4.

In a book published in 1883 Ventura Lynch, a noted contemporary student of the dances and folklore of Buenos Aires Province, noted the influence the Afro-Argentine dancers had on the compadritos, who apparently frequented the Afro-Argentine dance venues, "the milonga is danced only by the compadritos of the city, who have created it as a mockery of the dances the blacks hold in their own places".

The black slaves, who attended these payadas but who did not understand the songs, started to call them milongas - in other words, "many words". Eventually these events were termed "milongas", and people started going to a milonga rather than a payada.

The word 'milonguero' was originally used to describe the gauchos who went from town to town competing in payadas.

The names of those ancient milongas related to the areas where they were danced: 'Milonga Campera' or 'Milonga Sureña'. 'Campera' means 'from the country side', and 'Sureña' means 'from the south'.

Our Mentor and great Milonga master.

Pepito Avellaneda

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