'There are many Tango 'doors' to open. I look for the mysteries, the hidden entrances. I want to uncover secrets and follow corridors and pathways that lead to the heart and soul.'
How do you uncover those layers in your dancing?
'I am always looking to other disciplines- improvised theatre, music - as well as other dance styles such as Contemporary, to explore the connection between the body and the mind. All of these fields help me to improve and expand my teaching styles so that I can guide students to understand themselves better and to be able to dance in a way that fully engages the bones, the muscles and their emotions.'
'Yes. The spine is pivotal and primal to the way that we move. I want students to feel and to understand the spine, the starting point to being able to understand 'the axis', to develop body awareness and to feel those points of connection and 'spaces'. It all starts from the spine: from that awareness- or even visualisation, students can then move the muscles, and begin to layer and build muscle movement.'
When you speak about engaging 'the sacral' are you talking about 'the sacral' as a chakra, or as the lower section of the spine?
'Both! I have done a lot of study with Gyrotonics which talks about mind-body engagement. This is the part of 'the Tango connection' that I strive to understand and want to continually push and envelop. Tango has been around a long time and has much to learn from new mind-body schools of thought- especially because it is such an emotional dance. In Tango, the heart and body have to be safe as well as vulnerable; and Tango technique is precise and disciplined. As a teacher, I want to help my students 'live the Tango', to move smoothly to complex music and to find connection within themselves as well as with their partner.'
The visualisation and conceptualisation of these concepts may sound theoretical, but Albano generously shares his knowledge, often by showing dancers the way his own body works. He has trained his spine and muscles to work in rotation, as well as vertically and horizontally. He weaves a sensual, tactile dance tapestry, guiding direction, suggesting interpretation and inspiring movement. A lesson with Albano materialises these concepts and tempts your body to indeed, 'inhale the music'. It is an honour to dance Tango and to learn from Albano: not only because he is a disciplined technician of international calibre, but because he is a man whose chakras are aligned, connected and totally responsive. Albano is a proud and distinguished Tanguero of the New Age. He declares a confident, open and receptive masculinity rather than a 'rest-on-your-laurels' machismo of a bygone era.
Is Tango 'in your blood'? What does Tango mean to you?
'Tango is the story of my family. My grandfather to whom I was very close, was an original Tanguero who danced for over 60 years. He taught me how to dance- and I learned by watching him. Tango connects me to my grandfather and his love. My grandfather taught me so much more than how to dance Tango steps. He taught me how to 'inhale' the music. That is my relationship with Tango- I inhale the music, and as I draw it into my blood, it keeps those memories alive. Tango keeps my grandfather alive, in my blood.'
'The Tango of my childhood, of my family, was concentrated in one idea: Milongas. There was always a Milonga in the house of my Grandpa- every Sunday. He was an original 'Milonguero', the 'essence' of which, is improvisation. Yes, I learn choreography and I teach steps, but it is about preparing the body to inhale the music and keeping the soul open so that you can. The sound of Tango wallpapered our home: it is the sound and the air that we breathed. It lived in our street, in our community, so 'familiar'. Tango is my family.'
How have you put all the lessons of Tango into your teaching?
'There are so many ways to learn and it is my job as a teacher to know how to best communicate those learning modalities to each student. I work really hard on my teaching because I am reading the story of my family to each student. I want them to immerse in the pages of the book so that when they dance, the story is always passed on.'
'When I teach, there is a breakdown, or a 'step-by-step' approach. But we must always collaborate with students, the musicians who inhale the Tango, and listen and work with other dancers, teachers, and arts professionals from all over the world to be open to new ways of learning and teaching Tango.'
'That musicians inhale the music which is the commitment that allows the heart to dance and the feet to move. Dancers have so much to learn from musicians. I want to work with young musicians to see where Tango can go from here.'
'Tango traditions are so important but each generation has their own story to tell and as young musicians are creating new bodies of work, they are actively adding to the Tango musical library.'
'It is exciting to see how musicians are working with new technologies. IT and digitalisation is creating new trends in composition, instrumentation, interpretation- even sound itself is being challenged- there are so many possibilities. Musicians are rewriting the rules- and yet, remain disciplined in their archival research. There is freedom, creativity and surprise in their approach and they are inspiring new people to come to Milongas. The doors are opening, the story is unfolding and I want to know more. As a Milonguero, to not know where the story is going, but to know that you are a part of it, is so exciting!'
How are Tango cities of the world adding to the Tango story?
'I have lived in Paris for 5-6 months and have got to know that city's Tango scene very well. I love Paris (and their coffee)! There is something comforting and stimulating about 'memory' and shared experiences, when you really become part of something. It is again, 'familiarity': it paints colour, adds characters and writes chapters. Even in Argentina, every village in each city contributes to the texture and tradition of Tango. As that happens, perspectives change and the experiences deepen. I am from Mendoza and I now live and in Buenos Aires, travelling the world, teaching, dancing and smiling as everybody tells their own Tango story. Every time a Tango story is danced, there is a new interpretation and a new idea is born. That is improvisation, the heart of The Tango- and it is never-ending.'
This is your second Australian tour with Cecilia Gonzalez. Can you tell me a little bit about your partnership?
The humble Albano sighs: 'It is such an honour to dance with Cecilia not only because she is a beautiful dancer, but because she is a beautiful person.'
Albano spoke of Cecilia so gently and honourably, that he reminded me of the graceful Tango goddess herself. Cecilia Gonzalez has chosen Albano because she has impeccable taste. In an interview with Cecilia last year, she spoke about 'respect' as the quintessential Tango essence. Indeed, the partnership between Albano and Cecilia is built on an axis of respect. Together, they believe, voice and boldly live Tango values.Their very personable harmony and beauty shines on stage, the social dance floor and across the table from me as we reflect on the Tango and sip our coffees.
Australia has had the good sense to embrace Albano Goldenberg and invite his return, even before he has even left our shores. For more information about upcoming tours, Albano and Cecilia, or to book private lessons (early in 2018), check out Tango Bajo or the websites or Facebook pages of other State hosts. In 2018 you can expect more special-event Milongas honouring Albano and Cecilia and workshops that highlight their tutorship excellence.