Morning After with a Difference.

Sometimes you wake up in the morning after a great milonga feeling good and you remember all the wonderful dances you had.

I woke up after the milonga with that good feeling, thought that it had been one of my best nights ever. But how could this be when I had not danced at all due to injury?
Because I relaxed completely, released from the pressure of being alert and seeking dances, from wondering whether a look was ‘el cabeceo’ or not. And because my attention moved to the music.

DJ Michael opened his world to me and I watched, in wonderment Paras, as he led you all and you responded. I had a clear view of the floor and saw the evidence of all the week’s workshops. I knew in advance which song would be playing next and watched carefully for your responses.

Then afterwards with wine and chocolate I listened to your views on the milonga which I could match back to what I had watched and that made the evening complete. Such a valuable experience.


And after?

I think it is safe to say that he and I were not each other’s favourite tango partner. I thought he was in too much of a hurry to achieve great things in the dance and wanted him to be calmer. “I can’t cope with be being pushed around by your arms” I once snapped (me with all the arrogance and authority of someone who’d been dancing only a little longer than he had). “It’s my body that’s moving” he replied. “My arms just happen to be stuck to it” which is a fair point though I wouldn’t admit it at the time. We avoided each other a bit after that. When we found ourselves on the same flight to Schiphol we didn’t exactly rush into each other’s arms with joyful anticipation.
Then there were those lovely, frosty days at Taboe with so many new ways of finding tango. It was the last night (or quite probably morning) and he asked me to dance. Woah... where did this connection come from? We were close and relaxed, focussed totally on each other and hearing the same music.
That afternoon I was walking slowly back to my dorm through the woods to avoid the icy path. He appeared at my side and gently changed my direction so that we were walking away across the field in deeper snow. “I just want to say thank you for the lovely dances last night” he said. “Oh me too” I replied. “They really were lovely. We have both come a long way.”
Then there were goodbyes, more flights, returns to frozen homes and the real world. Our regular tango night restarted and I wondered how it would feel after Taboe. We danced again, he and I. The walls of the contemporary arts block melted away and were replaced by older walls of wood and pillars wrapped round with Christmas lights. “Oh good” I thought and I smiled.


Balada para un Loco (English)

Click on the title to download a PDF

Balada para un Loco (Dutch)

Click on the title for downloading a PDF-file

Workshop Iwan & Isabelle on saccadas.

Click on the title for a link to Youtube


A Traditional DJ?

I've got a reputation as a "traditional DJ" and that's how I tend to get introduced at events like Taboe Camp. Of course, each crowd is different so I play differently everywhere I go. This year I felt I really got the measure of the Taboe crowd, and played just right for them - always respecting my won feeling for the music, of course. So how traditional was I? What does traditional mean anyway??

I looked at my playlists and analyzed them according not to how many of the tracks were traditional tangos, but how many were "Argentine" - which ones I could play at a traditional milonga in Argentina. These milongas have sets of old swing music and what they call tropical - normally cumbia, so I included these as well. Here are the results:

  • Summer Taboe Camp 2009: 72% traditional

  • Winter Taboe Camp 2009 Wednesday: 75% traditional

  • Winter Taboe Camp 2009 New Year's Night (1am - 3am): 63% traditional

One track I love to play is Morena Pilar by Las Bordonas. I can't play this in England: it's too wild for London and too hard for the provinces. As a salute to tradition, here are Julio Balmaceda & Corina De La Rosa giving it some to this storming milonga-candombe:

If you want to see what they are dancing, there is another video on youtube from their perforamnce in Lisbon, 2008 which is filmed from above, although without the live band it's not as electrifying.

The Dancing Revolution

If I can't dance - I don't want to be part of your revolution

- Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

I'm still amazed by the Dancing Revolution that took place on New Year's Night. In case you weren't there: just before 3am we announced the last three numbers, and people came up to me, not asking for more, but demanding: You have to play more! The look in their eyes said, Are you crazy?!

But we did stop the milonga (or so we thought). There was no applause for an encore. We had the kick-out, and then stood in silence in the circle, no-one wanting to be the first to leave. Then a couple embraced each other where they were standing, and began to softly sway to some inner music. And another, and another, and another... in moments the whole room was dancing in silence; no-one left. Someone began to hum softly. After ten minutes or so, someone came over to the sound desk and plugged in their i-pod, and the party carried on as though nothing had happened. When I left at 4am, it was still in full swing.

I've never seen anything like this in my life; and I may never again! I still can't put into words my feelings about this moment. No matter what anyone else said, the people were going to go on dancing, and they refused to go home. It was a dancing revolution.


Dear taboecampers,
With the following-link you can see some of the pictures I made last week. If you are unhappy seeing your face on internet, please let me know.


I am gratefull for what we all together achieved. The music, the dances, the smiles, the tears, the help, the workshops, the fun .... Amazing what happens if we come together in a positive creative way. If you like to add to this blog, send us your contribution and we will put it on the blog. I can only invite 100 people to edit it.

Love to you all,


One Dance

We come to dance
You standing there
And I here
Your eyes are bright, shining slight

A single word finds my lips, ‘hello’
I invite you
I turn out my toes
And offer you my hand left

You accept
I put my hand right on your back
You rest your arm on mine
I make it safe

It’s only a dance, only a dance and nothing more

I start to hum a single note
You feel it vibrate in my chest
The band strikes up
I wait for inspiration

We stand strangers there together
I don’t know your name
The guitars gently swell and weep
And it’s getting late

Right in front of you, face to face
Breast to chest
Couples dance around us
And still you wait for me to begin

It’s only a dance, only a dance and nothing more

We stand and go on standing
I’m in my centre, you’re on your axis
A natural obstacle like a single tree rooted
Forgotten in a farmer’s plowed field

I hear your silent plea for me to start
To take the first step, to lead so you may follow
Thirty second eternity in the eye of a hurricane
The music plays on

I notice your soft perfume
Your hair clip
The way light shimmers on the sequins of your dress
The touch of your skin under finger tips

I relax my embrace ever slightly, ever so
You fall away from the press of my chest
I imagine you are full of chocolate lava
And I am a hungry patisisier

It’s only a dance, only a dance and nothing more

How good it is to hold you close again
After letting you go
I breathe in snow and exhale fire
I am gentle, I am rain, I am a sweetheart, I am a killer

Your free leg suspended in the air
Hanging there like a slowly melting block of ice between us
The swelling crescendo, the singer’s dark timbre
The moments and the dancers passing us by

We end where we began
I peel myself away like a sticky label on a wine glass
Your eyes beseech me to explain
Instead I touch my nose to yours

I stand on my own once again
And watch another man take you in his embrace
Who has no hesitation in dancing your feet away
From the opening bar

Maybe in another place
Maybe to another song
If it wasn’t so cold outside

Because it’s only a dance, only a dance – right?

Taboo Tango Camp Winter 2010


Just a few more men and we are full

We have now 110+ dancers from 10 countries coming and just a few ladies on the waiting list. It would be great if they could join too. Let's try to motivate all our male Tango-friends too join.

Soon we open registration for private classes. Book on time if you want a lesson from your favourite teacher.

And finally we are looking for electrical heaters. One of the 4 buildings we have has no heating in the dorms. So if we want all rooms warm we need some extra heating. Let us know if you have one.

Abraso Paul


Camp update

Hello dear camp lovers,

Registration for the winter camp is open and we are over 50% full. This time we have a very large party coming from the UK, which is I think super.

We also have a waiting list for single ladies. Some of them have to arrange flights, so it would be great if all 'single' man wanting to join register as soon as possible.

Fred (finally) uploaded some pictures from last camp. You'll find the link on the left. If the system asks for a password, then use Paras.

Love Paul


Trailer of the film: Taboe Tango Camp - a full week of magic!

"A short trailer of the film Taboe Tango Camp – a week filled with magic.
The film is beautiful impression of the Taboe Summer Camp 2009. Do not believe the film, because we also do dance Tango a lot… :)

You can order the film with the maker of the documetary, Roberto Rizzo mail to zadorak@gmail.com."


To all of you....

You've opened up my hart, really right there from the start,
half a week of being me...
the one I mostly hide.
How magical to feel just once
so safe and loved and one with all,
and dancing in the water....
in such bright and warming light.
Back home again is strange somehow,
I'm reaching out to all there was,
This new reality...or was it real ?

Thank you all so very much !


Out Beyond Ideas

What can I possibly say about Taboe Camp?! It was AMAZING.

Paras, you are a genius. You throw all our cells up in the air with tango bubbles, and when they settle down again we are new people. We love you. Paul you enable it all to happen. We love you. You and Paras are a great team.

For me Taboe Camp is Permission Camp, it's a place where I have a lot of permission to share what I really feel and think about tango. And that's on top of simply being at the camp! I love the way that the camp revealed people's beautiful inner natures. After a few days, the magical atmosphere of the camp began to feel, well, normal. As Jorga said, this kind of life is what people are made for.

Let's endeavour to bring some of this spirit into all our human encounters, and promise ourselves that we'll take time out to keep this magical spirit alive.


Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
The world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase
each other, doesn't make any sense.

- Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273)