Read the interview in Spanish & German

Following our video release of Pugliese´ s´”Recuerdo”, we had a talk with Juampy about how they approach their performances, the evolution of tango as a dance form, and the Berlin scene.

How does your story begin with tango? 

In our beginnings, we wanted to be able to dance in milongas and make exhibitions. We took classes with different teachers, researched, and went out to milongas. We studied the structure as thoroughly as possible, the technique and what tango implies as a social dance, past and present.

“We seek to convey the desire to dance.”

Does tango change?

Tango is a social dance and a reflection of society itself. It evolves, develops and transforms. It is reconstructed according to the social changes that take place. We base our dance in those changes and show and share them. 

 

What things do you seek to transmit when you dance? 

We seek to transmit the desire to dance. To show who we are, with sincerity and without repeating stereotypes. The challenge is to transmit this while respecting the essence. 

Where does the inspiration come from for your performances?

First of all, from our emotions and desires, from “being”, and not trying to appear. We play with what we are. To be women, to be men, to be free beings who dance and express themselves. To enhance this, we nourish our ideas with different aesthetic resources: fashion, make-up, cabaret shows, circus, opera, ballet, contemporary dance, drag queens, clowns, and old movies. 

What questions do you want to ask the audience that follows you?

We are interested in making certain topics visible, for example: Do I feel free or am I doing what I am somehow “told” to do? Do I dare to leave the structures? Our tango is always connected to our life and experiences.

Are you looking for a new tango? 

More than looking for a new tango, we want to expand and show the infinity of the tango universe, with the respect and knowledge that this implies towards its essence and its structure. Only having a firm base of knowledge we can play with this structure. You cannot break something without first understanding how it is crafted. We seek to create something original equally or more powerful than the above. 

Do you find that the traditional environment limits you?

The traditional environment limits itself. People limit themselves. They think they respect something that should be one way. Out of fear and ego, because they don’t dare to discover, or because they feel safe in the structure of a formula that works.

“Beyond the heels and the eyelashes,

what we do is tango”.

What is the value of tango today?

It is our language of expression and the axis of our life as artists. Tango is freedom, be it in an exhibition or in a milonga. 

How is tango different in Europe compared to Argentina?

Tango develops on a social structure, and European society is different from Argentinian society. They are different sensibilities, but there is a shared pleasure that we have been able to find all over the planet, of not believing.

What differentiates you from other tango dancers of today?

I think that is in plain sight, ha! I could mention several things: the aesthetics, the make-up, the costumes, that we are two gay guys, two boys/girls playing, feeling like goddesses, having fun, daring, making people laugh. Or at least that’s what we try to do. Since our beginnings, we made a strong bet, and we always took care to keep growing artistically.

What’s the worst thing that happened to you during a performance? And the best?

More than worst, I’d say funny, at least for me. We were to perform at Milonga La Bruja, in Villa Malcom, for a Halloween show. We had these costumes with huge necks, super empresses, with a certain dark style, according to the night of terror. More or less in the middle of the show, it was time for the expected change of shoes. But I, who was doing it first, confused the chair where my heels were, and I never realized that they were not my shoes, I just thought that the buckle opened, for some reason, and I went out without lifting my feet too much, so that I wouldn’t feel my shoes slack. So, before I started dancing, I said to Dani: “…my shoes feel big, let’s dance more to the floor please… And so we danced, pretty well I’d say for a 42 in a 39 foot. 

The show went on and it was time for Dani to change his shoes. After she changed, she came closer and came with a strange energy. When I had him in front of me, I saw his face in a rage and I couldn’t believe what was happening, he mumbled to me: “…you have my shoes on and I had to put on yours…” And we danced. I burst out laughing. He was annoying. But a beautiful show came out. After that, we started wearing different colored shoes.

What I enjoy most about our shows is that something new always comes along, there’s always adrenaline. We change something, maybe small, or a whole part, and 90% of our dances are improvised.

“Tango is freedom”

Have you been to Berlin before? What do you think of the city? 

I’ve been there several times, but I remember the first time: it was very strange. The silence in its streets, the parks, the tranquility, the river, the subway and the precision of its times, and the amount of different people, from countries I had never known.

The second time was different. I realized that I understood it, that I knew it, and I enjoyed it even more. And so each time. I also meet old friends every time I return. I’m attracted to its diversity, the bohemia and sensitivity, the drama and the joy.

How do you see the tango scene in Berlin?

It is a city with a lot of different proposals, spanning from a more popular and relaxed tango to something more traditional and conservative. There is milonga 7 days a week and when we talk about connection, sensations and embrace, we can see that there is an emotional understanding similar to what we feel those of us who travel from Buenos Aires. Tango in Berlin has its own life, far from trying to imitate the porteño ways, as it happens in other places.

What was it like to film “Recuerdo” in Berlin?

In Berlin you cannot escape from the sensations generated by history, past and present. There is a freedom that is breathed in the air, which offers the possibility to play and create from various aspects: aesthetic, musical, dance. Our proposal was undoubtedly enhanced by the setting of the city, as it happened to David Bowie!

What are the challenges for you at this stage of your career?

To express and share what we keep discovering about us and about life, and to transform it into tango, into art. The challenge is with ourselves. We try each show to surpass indance and creativity what we have already done.

 


ESPAÑOL

Luego de nuestro lanzamiento en video del “Recuerdo” de Pugliese, tuvimos una charla con Juampy y Dani sobre cómo enfocan sus actuaciones, la evolución del tango como forma de baile y la escena de Berlín.

Cómo empieza su historia con la danza tango? 

En nuestros inicios queríamos poder bailar en milongas y realizar exhibiciones. Tomamos clases con diferentes maestros, investigamos y salimos a milonguear. Estudiamos la estructura lo más a fondo posible, la técnica y lo que implica el tango como baile social, pasado y presented.

 

El tango, ¿cambia?

El tango es una danza social, y un reflejo de la sociedad misma. Evoluciona, se desarrolla y se transforma. Se reconstruye de acuerdo a los cambios sociales que se producen. Nosotros nos apoyamos en esos cambios y salimos a mostrarlos y a compartirlos. 

“Buscamos transmitir el deseo de bailar”.

¿Qué cosas buscan transmitir cuando bailan? 

Buscamos transmitir el deseo de bailar. Mostrar quiénes somos, con sinceridad y sin repetir estereotipos. El desafío es transmitir esto respetando la esencia. 

De donde sale la inspiración para sus puestas y búsquedas?

En primer lugar, de nuestras emociones y deseos, del “ser”, y no tratar de parecer. Jugamos con lo que somos. Ser mujeres, ser hombres, ser seres libres que bailan y se expresan. Para potenciar esto, nutrimos nuestras ideas con diferentes recursos estéticos: desfiles de moda, maquillaje, espectáculos de cabaret, circo, ópera, ballet, danza contemporánea, performances de drag queens, clowns y películas antiguas. 

¿Qué preguntas les interesa plantear al público que los sigue?

Nos interesa visibilizar ciertos temas, por ejemplo: ¿Me siento libre o estoy haciendo lo que de alguna manera “me dicen” que hay que hacer? ¿Me animo a salir de las estructuras? Nuestro tango siempre está ligado a nuestra vida y experiencia.

¿Buscan un nuevo tango? 

Más que buscar un tango nuevo, queremos ampliar y mostrar lo infinito del universo del tango, con el respeto y el conocimiento que esto implica hacia su esencia y su estructura. Solo teniendo una base firme de conocimientos podemos jugar con esta estructura. No se puede romper algo sin antes entender cómo está armado. Buscamos crear algo original que sea tanto o más potente que lo anterior. 

“Más allá del taco y las pestañas, lo que hacemos es tango”.

¿Encuentran que el ambiente tradicional los limita?

Creemos que el ambiente tradicional se limita a sí mismo. Las personas se limitan solas. Creen que respetan algo que debe ser de un modo, por miedo, por no animarse a descubrir, por ego, o por sentirse seguros en la estructura de una fórmula que funciona. 

¿Qué valor tiene el tango hoy en día?

Es nuestro lenguaje de expresión y el eje de nuestra vida como artistas. El tango es libertad, ya sea en una exhibición o en la milonga. 

¿Cómo es el tango diferente en Europa comparado con Argentina?

El tango es un baile que se desarrolla sobre una estructura social, y la sociedad europea es diferente a la sociedad latina. Son diferentes sensibilidades, pero hay un placer compartido que hemos podido  encontrar en todo el planeta, de no creer.

¿Qué los diferencia a ustedes de otros bailarines de tango de hoy?

Creo que esta a la vista, ja! Podría mencionar varias cosas: la estética, el maquillaje, el vestuario, que somos dos chicos gays, dos niños/niñas jugando, sintiéndonos unas diosas, divirtiéndonos, atreviendonos, haciendo reír. O al menos eso intentamos. 

Desde nuestros comienzos hicimos una apuesta fuerte, y siempre nos ocupamos de seguir creciendo artísticamente.

¿Qué es lo peor que te pasó durante una actuación? ¿Y lo mejor?

Más que peor, diría gracioso, al menos para mi. Estábamos en una performance en Milonga La Bruja, en Villa Malcom. Habíamos preparado un show para Halloween. Teníamos esos vestuarios con unos cuellos enormes, de súper emperatrices, con cierto estilo dark, acorde a la noche de terror. Más o menos a mitad del show, llegaba el momento en que hacíamos el esperado cambio de zapatos. Pero yo que lo hacía primero, me confundí la silla donde estaban mis tacos, y nunca me di cuenta que no eran mis zapatos, simplemente pensé que se abrió la hebilla, por algún motivo, y salí sin levantar demasiado los pies, para no sentir flojos los zapatos. Así, antes de comenzar a bailar, le dije a Dani: “… siento grande los zapatos, bailemos más al piso please…”. Y así bailamos, bastante bien diría para tener unos zapatos 42 en un pie de 39. 

El show continuó y llegó el momento en que Dani se cambiaba los zapatos. Luego de cambiarse, se acercó y venía con una energía rara. Cuando lo tuve frente a mí, vi su cara entre bronca y no poder creer lo que estaba pasando, me dice entre dientes: “… tenes puestos mis zapatos y me tuve que poner los tuyos…”. Y bailamos. Yo explotado de la risa. Él molesto. Pero salió un hermoso show.

Después de eso, comenzamos a usar zapatos de diferente color.

Lo que más disfruto de nuestros shows es que siempre aparece algo nuevo, siempre hay adrenalina. Cambiamos algo, quizás pequeño, o un cuadro entero, y el 90% de los bailes de tango los improvisamos.

“El tango es libertad”

¿Estuviste en otras ocasiones en Berlín? ¿Qué te parece la ciudad? 

Estuve varias veces, pero recuerdo la primera vez: me resultó muy extraña. El silencio en sus calles, los parques, la tranquilidad, el río, el metro y la exactitud de sus tiempos, y la cantidad de gente diferente, de países que nunca había conocido.

La segunda vez fue diferente. Me di cuenta que la entendía, que la conocía, y la disfrute más aún. Y así cada vez. Uno también se reencuentra con viejos amigos cada vez que regresa. Me atrae su diversidad, su bohemia y sensibilidad, el drama y la alegría.

¿Cómo ves la escena tanguera en Berlín?

Es una ciudad con una gran cantidad de propuestas diferentes, desde un tango más popular y relajado, a algo más tradicional y conservador. Hay milonga los 7 días de la semana y cuando se habla de conexión, de sensaciones y de abrazo, se puede observar que hay una comprensión emocional parecida a lo que sentimos quienes viajamos desde BsAs. El tango en Berlín tiene su propia vida, lejos de tratar de imitar los modos porteños, como sucede en otros lugares.

“En Berlín no se puede escapar de las sensaciones que genera la historia, pasado y presente.” 

¿Cómo fue filmar “Recuerdo” en Berlín?

En Berlín no se puede escapar de las sensaciones que genera la historia, pasado y presente. Hay una libertad que se respira en el aire, lo que brinda la posibilidad de jugar y crear desde varios aspectos: estético, musical, dancístico. Nuestra propuesta sin dudas fue potenciada por el marco de la ciudad, como le pasó a David Bowie!

¿Cuáles son los desafíos para ustedes en esta etapa de su carrera?

Expresar y compartir lo que seguimos descubriendo sobre nosotros y sobre la vida, y transformarlo en tango, en arte. El desafío es para con nosotros mismos. Tratamos que cada propuesta a nivel danza y creatividad supere lo que ya hicimos.


DEUTSCH

Nach unserer Video-Veröffentlichung von Puglieses “Recuerdo” hatten wir ein Gespräch mit Juampy und Dani über ihre Herangehensweise an ihre Performances, die Entwicklung des Tangos als Tanzform und die Berliner Szene.

Wie beginnt eure Geschichte mit Tango?

In unseren Anfängen wollten wir auf Milongas tanzen und Auftritte machen können. Wir nahmen Unterricht bei verschiedenen Lehrern, recherchierten und gingen auf Milongas. Wir studierten die Struktur so gründlich wie möglich, die Technik und was Tango als Gesellschaftstanz bedeutet, in der Vergangenheit und der Gegenwart.

 

Verändert sich der Tango?

Der Tango ist ein Gesellschaftstanz und ein Spiegelbild der Gesellschaft selbst. Er entwickelt sich, entfaltet und verwandelt sich. Er wird entsprechend den gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen, die stattfinden, rekonstruiert. Wir gründen unseren Tanz auf diesen Veränderungen und zeigen und teilen sie mit anderen.

Wir versuchen, die Lust am Tanzen zu vermitteln.

Welche Dinge versucht ihr zu vermitteln, wann tanzt ihr?

Wir versuchen, den Wunsch zu tanzen zu vermitteln. Wir wollen zeigen, wer wir sind, mit Aufrichtigkeit und ohne Wiederholung von Stereotypen. Die Herausforderung besteht darin, dies zu vermitteln und gleichzeitig das Wesentliche zu respektieren.

Woher kommt die Inspiration für eure Auftritte?

Zunächst einmal von unseren Emotionen und Wünschen, von unserem “Sein” und nicht vom Versuch. Wir spielen mit dem, was wir sind: Frausein, Mannsein, freie Individuen sein, die tanzen und sich ausdrücken.

Um dies zu fördern, nähren wir unsere Ideen mit verschiedenen ästhetischen Mitteln: Mode, Make-up, Kabarettshows, Zirkus, Oper, Ballett, zeitgenössischen Tanz, Drag Queens, Clowns und alte Filme.

Welche Fragen möchtet ihr dem Publikum, das euch folgt, stellen?

Wir sind zum Beispiel daran interessiert, bestimmte Themen anschaulich zu machen: Fühle ich mich frei oder tue ich irgendwie das, was man mir “sagt”? Traue ich mich, die Strukturen zu verlassen? Unser Tango ist immer mit unserem Leben und unseren Erfahrungen verbunden.

Seid ihr auf der Suche nach einem neuen Tango?

Mehr als auf der Suche nach einem neuen Tango wollen wir die Unendlichkeit des Universums des Tango erweitern und mit Respekt und Wissen zeigen, dass dies in Bezug zu seinem Wesen und seine Struktur steht. Nur mit einer festen Wissensbasis können wir mit dieser Struktur spielen. Man kann nicht etwas zerbrechen, ohne vorher zu verstehen, wie es aufgebaut ist. Wir streben danach, etwas Originelles zu schaffen, das genauso oder noch kraftvoller als das oben genannte ist.

Jenseits der Absätze und Wimpern ist das, was wir tun, Tango.

Findet ihr, dass die traditionelle Umgebung euch einschränkt?

Die traditionelle Umgebung schränkt sich selbst ein. Die Menschen schränken sich selbst ein. Sie denken, dass sie etwas respektieren, das ein Weg sein sollte. Aus Angst und Ego, weil sie sich nicht trauen, etwas zu entdecken, oder weil sie sich sicher fühlen in der Struktur, einer Formel, die funktioniert.

Welchen Wert hat der Tango heute?

Er ist unsere Ausdruckssprache und die Achse unseres Lebens als Künstler. Tango ist Freiheit, sei es in einer Show / einer Aufführung oder in einer Milonga.

Wie unterscheidet sich für euch der Tango in Europa von Argentinien?

Der Tango entwickelt sich auf einer sozialen Struktur und die europäische Gesellschaft ist anders als die argentinische. Es sind unterschiedliche Sensibilitäten, aber es gibt eine gemeinsame Freude, die wir überall auf dem Planeten finden konnten.

Was unterscheidet euch von anderen Tangotänzerinnen und Tangotänzern von heute?

Ich denke, das liegt auf der Hand, ha! Ich könnte mehrere Dinge nennen: die Ästhetik, das Make-up, die Kostüme, dass wir zwei schwule Jungs sind, zwei Jungen/Mädchen, die spielen, sich wie Göttinnen fühlen, Spaß haben, wagen, die Leute zum Lachen zu bringen. Oder zumindest ist es das, was wir zu tun versuchen.

Seit unseren Anfängen haben wir eine starke Wette abgeschlossen und wir haben immer darauf geachtet, künstlerisch weiter zu wachsen.

Was ist das Schlimmste, was euch während einer Aufführung passiert ist? Und das Beste?

Mehr als schlimm, würde ich sagen, lustig, zumindest für mich. Wir sollten in der Milonga La Bruja, in der Villa Malcom, für eine Halloween-Show auftreten. Wir hatten diese Kostüme mit riesigen Nacken, Superkaiserinnen, mit einem gewissen dunklen Stil, entsprechend der Nacht des Horrors. Mehr oder weniger in der Mitte der Show war es Zeit für den erwarteten Wechsel der Schuhe. Aber ich, der ich es zuerst tat, verwechselte den Stuhl, wo meine Highheels waren, und ich habe nie bemerkt, dass es nicht meine Schuhe waren. Ich dachte nur, dass die Schnalle sich aus irgendeinem Grund öffnete und ich ging hinaus, ohne meine Füße zu sehr zu heben, damit ich nicht das Gefühl hatte, dass meine Schuhe locker waren. Bevor ich also zu tanzen begann, sagte ich zu Dani: “…meine Schuhe fühlen sich groß an, lass uns bitte mehr auf den Boden tanzen… Und so tanzten wir, ziemlich gut würde ich sagen, für Größe 39 in 42er Schuhen.“

Die Show ging weiter und es war Zeit für Dani, seine Schuhe zu wechseln. Nachdem er sich umgezogen hatte, kam er näher – mit einer seltsamen Energie. Als ich ihn vor mir hatte, sah ich sein wütendes Gesicht und ich konnte nicht glauben, was da passiert war. Er murmelte zu mir: “…du hast meine Schuhe an und ich musste deine anziehen…” Und wir tanzten. Ich brach in Gelächter aus. Er war sehr genervt. Aber es kam eine schöne Vorstellung dabei heraus.

“Tango ist Freiheit”.

Danach fingen wir an, verschiedenfarbige Schuhe zu tragen.

Was mir an unseren Shows am meisten gefällt, ist, dass immer etwas Neues entsteht, es gibt immer Adrenalin. Wir ändern etwas, vielleicht etwas Kleines oder einen ganzen Teil und 90% unserer Tänze sind improvisiert.

Warst du schon einmal in Berlin, was hältst du von der Stadt?

Ich war schon einige Male dort, aber ich erinnere mich an das erste Mal: Es war sehr seltsam für mich. Die Stille in Berlins Straßen, den Parks, die Ruhe, der Fluss, die U-Bahn und die Pünktlichkeit und die Menge der verschiedenen Menschen aus Ländern, die ich nie kennen gelernt hatte.

Das zweite Mal war anders. Ich merkte, dass ich es verstand, dass ich es kannte und es machte mir noch mehr Spaß. Und so ist es nun jedes Mal. Bei jeder Rückkehr trifft man auch alte Freunde wieder. Ich fühle mich von ihrer Vielfalt, ihrer Boheme und Sensibilität, dem Drama und der Freude angezogen.

Wie seht ihr die Tangoszene in Berlin?

Es ist eine Stadt mit vielen verschiedenen Möglichkeiten, von einem eher populären und entspannten Tango bis hin zu einem etwas traditionelleren und konservativem. Es gibt Milongas an 7 Tagen in der Woche. Und wenn wir über Verbindung, Empfindungen und Umarmung sprechen, können wir sehen, dass es ein emotionales Verständnis gibt, das dem ähnlich ist, was wir, die von Buenos Aires stammen, empfinden. Der Tango in Berlin hat sein eigenes Leben, weit entfernt von dem Versuch, die porteño-Weisen zu imitieren, wie es an anderen Orten geschieht.

Wie war es, “Recuerdo” in Berlin zu filmen?

In Berlin kann man sich den Empfindungen der Geschichte, der Vergangenheit und der Gegenwart nicht entziehen. Es gibt eine Freiheit, die eingeatmet wird, die die Möglichkeit bietet, unter verschiedenen Aspekten zu spielen und zu kreieren: ästhetisch, musikalisch, tänzerisch. Unser Vorschlag wurde zweifellos durch die Lage der Stadt verbessert, wie es auch David Bowie passiert ist!

Was sind die Herausforderungen für euch in dieser Phase eurer Karriere?

Das auszudrücken und zu teilen, was wir immer wieder über uns und das Leben entdecken und es in Tango, in Kunst zu verwandeln. Die Herausforderung liegt bei uns selbst. Wir versuchen, dass jeder Vorschlag auf der Tanz- und Kreativitätsstufe über das hinausgeht, was wir bereits getan haben.

Published on May 2020 in Perfil.com. Read the original interview in Spanish.

El Muro Tango triumphs in Europe and has just presented its new song Recuerdo. There they perform Osvaldo Pugliese´s song and break the stereotypes of 2×4 in a desolated Berlin. Watch the video.

A semi-deserted Berlin and two drag dancers following the footsteps of the 2X4. There is no doubt: El Muro Tango has no problem in breaking patterns. That’s how this band decided to portray their new video, a new version of Recuerdo, the song of another revolutionary: Osvaldo Pugliese. 

The video was filmed in March of this year, during the coronavirus pandemic with the background of social distancing in Germany. 

El Muro Tango is an Argentine tango band that set out to take the international tango scene by storm. With their energetic performances, they spread enthusiasm to tango dancers and music lovers throughout Europe and South America. 

Since its debut in 2016, the group has toured the world and played to a full house at prestigious festivals and concert halls such as the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, the Innsbruck Tango Festival, the Royal Concertgebouw and the Usina del Arte. 

The band – made up of Norwegian, Karl Espegard (violin), Kaspar Uljas from Estonia (bandoneon) and Argentineans Juan Pablo De Lucca and Benjamin Groisman on piano and double bass respectively – performed in the final of the TV show Norway’s Got Talent 2018 with dance couple Cyrena Drusine & Steinar Refsdal. 

They are currently working with the most important tango singers in Argentina, such as Juan Villarreal, Chino Laborde and Negro Falótico. Among its members, the DNA of the historical tango is still alive with Juan Pablo de Lucca, grandson of the renowned singer, Alberto Castillo, who was also a revolutionary in the genre for his time. 

The group released its debut album “Nostalgico” at Galileo Music (DE) in November 2018. Their music consists of traditional Argentine tango with a fresh and modern harmonic language, incorporating elements of jazz and South American rhythms. 

Published on May 2020 in Utrop.no. Read the original interview in Norwegian.

The story takes place in Berlin and follows two dancers from Buenos Aires, Juampy Ramirez and Daniel Arroyo, while exploring Berlin’s streets and backyards.

During the video, a transformation takes place where they put on makeup and dress in extravagant drag clothes.

The video is a personal and unconventional portrait of the two young artists playing with boundaries in an otherwise rather conservative tango environment, set to music by composer Osvaldo Pugliese. Behind the film is the Norwegian cinematographer Åsmund Hasli.

– The concept is to combine tango with androgyny and elements from drag shows, says band member Karl Espegard.

Art influenced by surroundings

Juan Pablo De Lucca, who is also a band member, comes from a well-known tango family in Buenos Aires. Currently, he lives in Berlin, a city with a lot of alternative culture.

– For us it was about artistic influence, and the willingness to explore the boundaries of the genre we play, says de Lucca.

– We heard the dancers were in Berlin, and listened to the idea. Then we saw the opportunity to make a video that could inspire thought and really challenge artistic boundaries, Espegard says.

El Muro Tango has made the music into a video that addresses gender expressions.

El Muro Tango has made the music to a video that addresses gender expressions. Photo: Iveta Rysava

Challenges artistic consensus

Espegard considers it important to break away from boundaries within the genre.

– Tango is a classic genre with a traditional formula that gives commercial success. We see that new bands are copying the same formula from the 30s and 40s. That in itself is fine, while we also believe it is important to bring in new impulses. In El Muro Tango, we think that tango is live music, not just something static.

– By making this video we have reached an audience that does not usually listen to tango. We envision tango going out to the people, says De Lucca.

People should be themselves

– Do you want to create something new in tango?

– Not really. It is about sending a message, that it is important to challenge oneself and one’s own boundaries. And not least, to be allowed to be oneself.

In Argentina, the home of tango, expressions related to gender expression and alternative sexuality are practically absent in the tango tradition.

– Such aesthetics are thus not very common, although there are also social changes. We would like to provoke, preferably with some humor in making such a video. If one cannot challenge one’s own genre, you tie yourself up as an artist.

 

Published on May 2020 in Infobae. Read the original interview in Spanish.

The streets of an empty Berlin, in black and white, confuse with the Buenos Aires that saw the birth of the dance that conquered the world. With the desire to return to the tango to its place of transgression, Juan Pablo de Lucca proposes this original version of the classic of “La chicharra de Villa Crespo.

The international band El Muro Tango has just published what they consider “a love letter to tango, to the city of Berlin and to the fans”: a video in the form of a film set to their interpretation of Recuerdo, a classic by the master Osvaldo Pugliese with lyrics by Eduardo Moreno.

This tango was published in 1924 and premiered by the quartet of bandoneonist Juan Fava, at the Café Mitre, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Villa Crespo.

The first recording was made on December 9, 1926 by Julio De Caro’s orchestra. It was only instrumental: the following year Rosita Montemar recorded the sung version accompanied by musicians from the RCA Victor label.

Inspired by the origins of tango in the popular districts of Buenos Aires, the video marks new connections between the unbridled desire of the milongas and the rough margins of Berlin, one of the great contemporary melting pots of the world, a city of refuge for the queer community and a mecca for performers, musicians and artists.

The dancers of the novel staging are the Argentines Juampy Ramírez and Dani Arroyo who seek to convey the desire to dance and experience life with an intensity that only tango can offer. Their movements are relaxed, with marked pauses through which they tell a story and way of freedom of expression.

This musical proposal is the story a journey through the traditional boundaries of the genre and gender in search of a sound that represents the true nature of tango.

El Muro Tango presents the version of Recuerdo with the desire to immerse oneself deeply in the origins of tango and to establish itself as a defining influence of its as yet undefined identity in alternative Berlin.

The group’s pianist is Juan Pablo de Lucca, grandson of the legendary singer and actor Alberto Castillo. The musical accomplishments of their colleagues are no less impressive. Together, they seek to make tango “transgressive, extravagant and dangerous again,” they say.

As their instrumental interpretation accompanies the dancers – who reflect on what has been lost and what remains, hiding in plain sight on the margins of the city, in the beauty of empty urban spaces, in the transformation of two dancers into living emblems of defiant hope – the lyrical fragments hover like ghosts between the notes:

Yesterday they sang poets / in the soft nights of the atmosphere of pleasure / where bohemian and fragile youth / withered in the bar of the barrio sur dying of illusion / dying their song.

The result is a black and white film that moves and connects with great intensity as it speaks of the present moment. “It is clear that although COVID-19 does not discriminate, the impact of the virus still corresponds to the inequalities of society. Those on the margins are, once again, among the most vulnerable – and courageous. Like Dani and Juampy, they still wear make-up and dance,” say the members of the quartet.

El Muro Tango is an Argentine tango band that has reached the international scene of the genre, reaching all of Europe and South America. Their music consists of traditional Argentine tango with a fresh and modern harmonic language, incorporating elements of jazz and South American rhythms.

Since its debut in 2016, the group has toured all over the world and played to a full house at prestigious festivals and concert halls such as the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, the Innsbruck Tango Festival, the Royal Concertgebouw and the Usina del Arte.

In November 2018, El Muro Tango presented its first album, Nostalgic, at Galileo Music (DE) and received excellent reviews in the international press. Its music consists of traditional Argentine tango with a fresh and modern harmonic language, incorporating elements of jazz and South American rhythms.

Written by Tom Pugh (author of The Devil’s Library)

ENGLISH

A break-out sensation since emerging in 2016, El Muro Tango should be on tour, playing to packed venues across Europe. Instead, along with the rest of us, they are in isolation – but far from idle. Unable to perform live, the group has just released an extraordinary love letter to tango, the city of Berlin and their many fans. A gift for these dark times in the shape of a film set to their own mould-breaking interpretation of Pugliese’s Recuerdo (A memory).

Drawing inspiration from tango’s origins in the working-class barrios of Buenos Aires, the film builds new connections between the unbridled desire of the milongas and the rough edges of Berlin, one of the world’s great contemporary melting pots, a city of refuge for the queer community and a mecca for performers, musicians and artists. 

In every movement, Argentine dancers Juampy Ramirez and Dani Arroyo convey the desire to dance, to flourish, to experience life with an intensity which nothing delivers quite like tango. Their movements are relaxed, their pauses less attention-seeking than in classical tango, as they tell a story of the triumphant pursuit of freedom of expression. 

Musically and visually, it’s the story of a quest for identity, a journey across traditional boundaries of genre and gender in pursuit of a sound that represents tango’s true nature. Here, the clichés of so many contemporary recordings are blown away by a performance which acknowledges tango as something more than just a dance. El Muro Tango play it like they’re on a mission – to dive deep into tango’s origins and establish themselves as the defining influence on its still fluid identity in alternative Berlin. 

Their deep knowledge and technical virtuosity are audible in every note. Not surprising given that the pianist, Juan Pablo de Lucca, is the grandson of legendary singer and actor Alberto Castillo. The musical accomplishments of his bandmates are hardly less impressive. Together, they seek to make tango transgressive, flamboyant, and dangerous again. As their instrumental interpretation of Recuerdo accompanies the dancers – reflecting on what’s been lost and what remains, hiding in plain sight on the margins, in the beauty of empty urban spaces, in the transformation of two dancers into living emblems of defiant hope – snatches of the lyrics hover like ghosts between the notes: 

Yesterday poets sang… / In those soft nights of pleasure… / Bohemian and fragile youth…

 / Dying in a bar in a southern hood… / Death of illusions… / Dying of his song…

The result is a film which moves and connects with great intensity – and one which speaks to our current moment, as it becomes clear that even if COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, the impact of the virus still corresponds to the inequalities in society. Those on the margins are once again among the most vulnerable – and courageous. Like Dani and Juampy, they still apply their make-up, put on their high heels, and dance. 

If any contemporary band has the ambition and ability to reinvent tango and bring it to a wider audience, it’s surely El Muro Tango. With this film, they take a major step in that direction.

Published by Dan Hobson on June 2019 in Songlines Magazine

ENGLISH

Norway hasn’t chilled the passion of this tango

The title of this album, Nostálgico, goes right to the heart of what tango represents: nostalgia and longing for what once was. From the first notes, the passion of this Argentinian-Norwegian tango band is evident. Wearing its heart on its sleeve, Nostálgico meanders through the high-and-lows of romance, the excitement of new places, longings for home, impossible love and wild dreams, all in a seductive swirl of violin, piano, double bass, accordion and hypnotic Argentinian–Spanish vocals.

El Muro Tango make no bones about preserving the TANGO tradition. In fact, it is, quite literally, in their blood. In 2016, Argentinian musician Juan Pablo de Lucca (nephew of renowned tango singer Alberto Castillo) and Norwegian Karl Espegard (who began studying classical violin age eight) formed the basis of the band, who now play around the world and collaborate with some of the genre’s biggest names. For some, this homage to tango will ignite Latin passions. For others, though, it might feel a little tried and tested. Either way, the craftsmanship here is exceptional. This is quality music, played to perfection. Furthermore, it is clear that every band member plays each note with the precise passion that ensures tango will never simply be consigned to the history books.

Dan Hobson

Read in EnglishSpanish

Published by Julio Lagos on June 2019 in Infobae. Read the original interview in Spanish.

ENGLISH

The legendary Alberto Castillo already has an heir: his grandson triumphs in Europe playing modern tango

Juan Pablo De Lucca is proud of his grandfather. He plays modern tango and will soon give a recital at the most famous theater in the Netherlands, where Barenboim and Martha Argerich usually play. The most hilarious anecdotes and the memories of the great singer of tangos that in Argentina of the 50s led the biggest popular phenomenon.

By Julio Lagos

The young pianist Juan Pablo De Lucca is proud of his grandfather, but follows a different musical path. In August he will give a recital at the prestigious Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, where Barenboim and Marta Argerich usually play.

-I am part of my people and I owe them what I am … I speak with their words and sing with their voice !!!

This was the classic introductory phrase of Alberto Castillo (Alberto Salvador De Lucca, his real name) the popular “singer of the hundred Buenos Aires neighborhoods”. For three decades this modest quatrain (a type of stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines) became an emotional safe-conduct that shook millions of Argentines.

At this point of the 21st century, it is necessary to say: in Argentina of the 1950s, Castillo was a popular phenomenon only surpassed by the massive political concentrations of the time.

The premiere of each of his films – there were twelve in all – caused clamorous crowds at the door of the cinemas, with traffic cuts, avalanches and useless police efforts to maintain order. His presentations in the clubs and dances of Carnival called crowds. And his performances in Radio Belgrano made the traffic collapse, with several blocks of line from the public that in its vast majority had to stay outside the building.

What was the reason for this phenomenon?

Castillo was different from all the singers. He broke with the traditional stereotype: he walked on the stage, he balanced his arms, he used his hands to accompany his gestures, he moved the microphone. And above all, he communicated with the public establishing a relationship of belonging. That’s why the crowds felt it as their own.

This overwhelming personality and exuberant style caused some critics – and not a few of his colleagues – to consider it vulgar and coarse.

However, I can offer two proofs that Alberto Castillo was an extraordinary artist. One, the testimony of Aníbal Troilo, who personally told me:

Castillo is the only tango singer that I never heard out of tune.

No one else told me this. It was Pichuco who told me one day, when we left Radio Municipal.

And the other proof of what Alberto Castillo was as a singer arises from the testimony of Edmundo Rivero. Once I asked him:

-Leonel, why do you not include the tango “Ninguna” in your repertoire?

-No, that’s what Castillo sang. No one could do it better.

With the permission of the readers, we will give this chronicle the format of a musical show. That’s why I offer you this extract of the film “El tango vuelve a París”, from 1948, when Castillo -with Aníbal Troilo´s orchestra- sang “Ninguna” to Elvira Ríos:

(plays “Ninguna” – Alberto Castillo)

Castillo – father of three children – had eleven grandchildren. One of them is called Juan Pablo de Lucca. He is a pianist and from Berlin, where he lives alternating with other European capitals, he tells me:

-I started studying piano at the age of 8 with my maternal grandmother. And I left at 11 because I wanted to play the electric guitar. I got hooked on rock. Then, when I finished high school, I went to the UCA to study Composition, piano and classical music with Antonio Formaro and Federico Wiman. I learned orchestration, counterpoint, audio-perceptive and composition.

Juan Pablo De Lucca, grandson of the mythical Alberto Castillo, feels proud of his grandfather.

Born in 1986, Juan Pablo spent his adolescence listening to Guns n’Roses, Charly García and The Beatles. And also Mercedes Sosa:

-She is the female singer that impacts me the most, by far.

His musical preferences include Sui Generis and Pescado Rabioso and Bill Evans. And that amplitude was reflected in his contact with the instruments:

-Once I entered university, my range of musical options opened. I also started traveling and in each trip I brought back  a new instrument. Charango, flutes, clarinet, drums. Obviously, I did not have time to study everything. When I started to dedicate myself to tango, I realized that I had to go deeper into the piano. And little by little I calmed down.

– And how did you get to tango, after so many musical experiences?

-After I started going to milongas, I wanted to investigate more seriously what tango was about. I called Jorge Dragone, who was my grandfather’s pianist for many years and he, with unparalleled generosity, invited me to his house and so it was that week after week I began to understand how was this music played. He showed me arrangements and how he played them. He taught me how to read a tango score. Then I continued my studies with Andrés Linetzky, Nicolás Ledesma, Pablo Fraguela and Julián Peralta. And for a while with Beba Pugliese.

All these stimuli led to a style in which his admiration for Osvaldo Pugliese is recognized:

– For the musicians of my age, Pugliese is the one that has greater connection with the rock harmonies. And he was the one who kept tango alive, so that it would reach my generation.

The group El Muro plays modern tango and triumphs in Europe.

One day, Juan Pablo went to Europe. He arrived in Norway and together with the bandoneon player Åsbjørg Ryeng, the violinist Karl Espegard and the bassist Sebastián Noya created the group El Muro Tango. They collaborated with dancers Cyrena Drusine (New York) and Steinar Refsdal (Oslo) and recently they recorded this version of “Nostálgico”, by Julián Plaza.

If the reader clicks below, our chronicle now becomes a show:

(plays “Nostalgico” / El Muro Tango)

It is reasonable, almost inevitable, for an Argentinean pianist to have a tango swing. But it strikes me that two young Norwegians have such a porteño sound. And when I mention it, Juan Pablo answers:

-Åsbjørg has played bandoneón since she was 10 years old, she had very good teachers and has also studied with Argentine bandoneon players. As for Karl, he lived for a long time in Buenos Aires and from there he took it. Besides, he has a great interest in our culture, expression and language. Being surrounded by Argentineans, sooner or later he ends up getting a hold of it.

-How did you meet them?

– Through Facebook I met Åsbjørg, who at that time was doing tango duets with Karl, bandoneon and violin. Karl had just returned from Buenos Aires and wanted to continue playing tango. I contacted them, there was a good vibe among the three of us and we decided to continue with the project. Now we are constantly looking for different ways to play the tangos we love. We treat the melodies with a more contrapunctual style, we expand the harmonic language and we combine the tuttis and the solos in more unusual ways.

-And the arrangements?

-Before I was more interested in capturing my vision and sound. Today I aim towards a result bearing the fruits of group collaboration. When each member brings their own vision, the result is infinitely richer and more complex. I am always surprised by the unexpected things that appear in a process of collective creation and the total is always greater than the sum of the parts. I am also more open to playing traditional tangos, although I am interested in always saying something of my own, something coherent with the way we live today, our way of understanding music, which is not the same as it was 50 years ago. Before, maybe I needed to distance myself from the traditional repertoire to find my voice. Today I think how my grandfather would say: tango is tango, it does not matter if it’s from yesterday or today.

The reference to Alberto Castillo opens the way for an almost obvious question:

-The European public, the listeners of your music, your own companions, do they have any idea who Alberto Castillo was?

-The milongueros and the people who know tango of course know who Castillo was. For European musicians, the reference is more Astor Piazzolla. But even those who know him are surprised at the magnitude of his figure when I show them audiovisual and documentary material of the time. Being the grandson of Castillo for me was always a blessing and a joy. Being able to meet such an artist and receive part of his legacy fills me with pride. And some of the tangos in our album are part of my grandfather’s repertoire.

In that catalog of songs, Castillo included “Así se baila el tango”, a tango that said “What do pitucos, lamidos and sushetas know, what do they know what tango is, what they know about the beat …”. It was like a challenge, that he sang with a provocative air, pointing to those who resisted his style. He achieved his goal to such a point that more than once the last measures had the echo of a noisy fight in the audience. Meanwhile, on stage, dominating the situation, Castillo broke the molds, loosening his tie, accompanying the modulation of his voice with the profile of his hands and moving the microphone as Elvis Presley would do years later.

Here you can see and hear, at 43 seconds, after a few bars of “El choclo”:

(Alberto Castillo plays – “Así se baila el tango”)

And now let´s enjoy the recording that, 70 years later, made his grandson playing piano with El Muro Tango:

I was lucky to meet Alberto Castillo. And I did a story, which was published in Gente magazine in October 1965. I remember it was a torrent. He talked, he stopped, he gesticulated, he sat down, he hit me in the hand while I took notes, he came back to stop. And he repeated a hose:

-I do not know if you understand me … I do not know if I explain myself …

It was perfectly explained, of course:

-I am necessary. I am not indispensable, because I am neither bread nor noodles. But I am necessary, I transmit. The public is going to see me looking for something and I give it to them. Something simple, easy. Mine is not stern. Do you realize what I’m telling you? I cause euphoria. Let’s see if I’m like those who play tango for themselves! Piazzolla? He went too far. You do not have to play for later, you have to play for now. Thrill. And he makes you think.

We were talking in his apartment on Riobamba street, but it was as if he were on stage. He went, he came, he moved his arms:

– I triumphed because I sing like you and how they want to sing when they are showering. They laughed at me a lot, they said I was a clown, no sir! If I do it, it’s because of something. I associate each word with a gesture, I coordinate the inflection of the voice and the muscular movement Or the hands do not speak? And what can I tell you about those of us who have the Italian spirit? I have an uncle who, if you tie his hands, cannot talk!

Alberto Castillo was a doctor and his artistic career forced him to leave medicine. Although that experience accompanied him throughout his artistic life:

-When I sing a tango I put everything, because I feel it. You can not talk about a drama if you never had it. And that they come to talk to me about dramas, when I spent five years as a general practitioner in the hospital.

Now, his grandson plays tangos in Norway. Everything is different: the environment, the weather, the language, the stage, the musical sound, the story.

However, Juan Pablo feels the same vibration as his grandfather when tango achieves the miracle of communication:

– Sometimes we play in very small towns and we are surprised by the warmth of the audience. There are tango clubs in totally unthinkable places and it is a great joy to be received with such expectation. Last summer we played in Senja, an island that is within the Arctic circle and people ended up dancing our music, without even knowing how to dance tango!

Surely, his grandfather would be very proud. Much more, if he knew what Juan Pablo has just told me:

-They invited us to play at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. It is one of the finest concert halls in Europe and usually hosts artists like Martha Argerich or Daniel Barenboim.

The event is already on the internet. On Sunday, August 4, at 8:00 pm, the band “El Muro Tango” will play at the Kleine Zaal of the most famous theater in the Netherlands.

We do not know if Queen Máxima will attend. Although taking into account that at her wedding she heard “Adiós Nonino”, she could suddenly be among the audience. Do you know why? Because that night Juan Pablo de Lucca and his group are going to play “Milonga del Ángel” by Astor Piazzolla.

Yes, definitely, grandfather Alberto would not take it badly.

Moreover, he would not be angry with me either because I close my chronicle-show with this fantastic version.

(plays “Milonga del ángel / El Muro Tango)

Read in English / Norwegian / Spanish

Published by Sigbjørn Apeland on June 21, 2019 in Dag og Tid

ENGLISH

Argentine-Norwegian tango art

El Muro Tango is characterized by control and precision in all details, the sound is clear and appealing.

This is the first album of the tango band El Muro Tango, which is composed by pianist Juan Pablo de Lucca, violinist Karl Espegard, Åsbjørg Ryeng on bandoneon and Sebastian Noya on double bass. In addition, several guests participate, with the singer and guitarist Juan Villarreal at the forefront. It is thus about Norwegian and Argentine musicians who cultivate classic tango in South American style.

COMPREHENSIVE TOUR

This album is not a fast-paced project. To prepare, the musicians have had an extensive tour schedule in South America and several European countries. In addition, the record is released on a German label, so this is in every way an international project.

CONTROLLED

Tango has its historical background from the lower working class in Argentina and Uruguay, but has since spread to much of the world – as music, dance style and song poetry. In our time, tango is unlikely to be characterized as popular, but is cultivated as an art form alongside all others, with experts, institutions and a high degree of professionalism.

El Muro Tango is a typical example of this: the music is characterized by control and precision in all details, the sound is clear and appealing. Dramatic feelings are known as a characteristic of tango, and they are to a high degree present in this production, but it is like on film or in a theater production: What we see/hear, is rarely spontaneous, but controlled and carefully planned. This interpretation is not meant to be diminishing, but to underline how strong the feelings and spontaneity can be fixed in an established aesthetic form and still seem credible.

NORWEGIAN

Norsk-argentinsk tangokunst

El Muro Tango er prega av kontroll og presisjon i alle detaljar, lydbiletet er klårt og tiltalande.

Dette er den første plata til tangobandet El Muro Tango, som er samansett av pianist Juan Pablo de Lucca, fiolinist Karl Espegard, Åsbjørg Ryeng på bandoneon og Sebastian Noya på kontrabass. Dessutan medverkar fleire gjester, med songaren og gitaristen Juan Villareal i spissen. Det er altså tale om norske og argentinske musikarar som dyrkar klassisk tango i søramerikansk stil.

OMFATTANDE TURNÉ

Denne plata er ikkje noko forhasta prosjekt: I førekant har musikarane hatt omfattande turnéverksemd i Sør-Amerika og fleire europeiske land. Plata kjem dessutan ut på eit tysk plateselskap, så dette er på alle måtar eit internasjonalt prosjekt.

KONTROLLERT

Tango har sin historiske bakgrunn frå mindre pengesterke samfunnslag i Argentina og Uruguay, men har sidan spreidd seg til store delar av verda – både som musikk, dansestil og songlyrikk. I vår tid kan neppe tangoen seiast å vera folkeleg, men vert dyrka som ei kunstform på linje med alle andre, med ekspertar, institusjonar og høg grad av profesjonalitet.

El Muro Tango er såleis eit typisk døme på dette: Musikken er prega av kontroll og presisjon i alle detaljar, lydbiletet er klårt og tiltalande. Dramatiske kjensleuttrykk er rekna som eit kjenneteikn ved tangoen, og dei er i høg grad til stades på denne produksjonen, men det er som på film eller i ei teaterframsyning: Det me ser/høyrer, er sjeldan spontant, men kontrollert og nøye planlagt. Denne fortolkinga er ikkje meint som forkleining, men ei påpeiking av korleis sterke kjensler og spontanitet kan fikserast i ei etablert estetisk form og likevel verka truverdige.

SPANISH

Arte de tango argentino-noruego

El Muro Tango se caracteriza por el control y la precisión en todos los detalles, el sonido es claro y atractivo.

Este es el primer álbum de la banda de tango El Muro Tango, que está compuesta por el pianista Juan Pablo de Lucca, el violinista Karl Espegard, Åsbjørg Ryeng en bandoneón y Sebastian Noya en contrabajo. Además, participan varios invitados, con el cantante y guitarrista Juan Villarreal al frente. Por lo tanto, se trata de músicos noruegos y argentinos que cultivan el tango clásico al estilo sudamericano.

TOUR INTEGRAL

Este álbum no es un proyecto precipitado. Para prepararse, los músicos han tenido un extenso programa de giras en América del Sur y varios países europeos. Además, el registro se publica en un sello alemán, por lo que este es un proyecto internacional en todos los aspectos.

REVISADO

El tango tiene sus antecedentes históricos en la clase obrera más baja en Argentina y Uruguay, pero desde entonces se ha extendido a gran parte del mundo, como música, estilo de baile y poesía. En nuestra época, es poco probable que el tango se caracterice como popular, pero se cultiva como una forma de arte como todas los demás, con expertos, instituciones y un alto grado de profesionalismo.

El Muro Tango es un ejemplo típico de esto: la música se caracteriza por el control y la precisión en todos los detalles, el sonido es claro y atractivo. Los sentimientos dramáticos son conocidos como una característica del tango, y están muy presentes en esta producción, pero es como en una película o una producción teatral: lo que vemos / oímos, rara vez es espontáneo, sino que es controlado y cuidadosamente planificado. Esta interpretación no pretende disminuir, sino subrayar cuán fuertes son los sentimientos y la espontaneidad que pueden fijarse en una forma estética establecida y aún así parecer creíbles.

Read in EnglishNorwegian

Published by Magnus Lindahl on May 23, 2019 in Hallingdølen

ENGLISH

A rare dose of passion

The festival opened in Sorenskrivargarden

With passion and soul, Karl Espegard and El Muro Tango brought excitement at the opening of Festspillene i Nesbyen.

And it was a different musical opening at this year’s festival. In the 31 years of the festival’s existence, there has been little South American music on the program. But Tuesday night, after the official opening had taken place in Galleri Nystugu with an art exhibition by Kristian Finborud, the cultural week commenced with tango rhythms.

Band to Nes
And it was a big hit. From the first tone, the internationally acclaimed group with members from Argentina, Norway, and Estonia excited the audience in Sorenskrivargarden: The concert lasted for a bit over an hour. And as one member of the audience said right after the concert:
– There has never been so much passion in Sorenskrivargarden.
– A unique experience, says Karl Espegard.
He is the main reason why El Muro Tango played in Nesbyen. Because here he lived for one year when he was around ten-eleven. And here his mother grew up and here his grandparents spent all their lives. With family members in the audience, it was a special evening also for the violinist.
– Very nice. And I’m glad so many people came.

Around the world
El Muro Tango was formed in 2016. Since then, they have toured the world and for the Norwegian audience, the group is also known from Norwegian Television (TV2). In the program «Norwegian Talents» in 2018, they played in the finale. On Tuesday, they brought Juan Villarreal, one of the leading tango singers in Argentina. Espegard started playing music when he was eight years old. Now he is a professional musician, who in addition to El Muro Tango has played in the musical «The Book of Mormon» at The Norwegian Theater for the last two years. The group came to Nesbyen from concerts in Berlin, Innsbruck, and Oslo earlier in May. Saturday they go on the stage in Naples before continuing to Turin and Milan. On June 1st they play in Zurich.
– In 2018, we played 60 concerts. This year we play a little less, says Espegard, who was happy to introduce a new musical genre to the festival.
– Tango is not so common in Norway, but it has gained more and more popularity.

NORWEGIAN

Sjeldan dose av lidenskap

Festspillene opna i Sorenskrivargarden

Med lidenskap og sjel begeistra Karl Espegard og El Muro Tango då Festspillene i Nesbyen vart opna.

Og det vart ei annleis musikalsk opning på årets festspel. I dei 31 åra festspela har eksistert har det vore lite søramerikansk musikk på programmet. Men tysdag kveld, etter at den offisielle opninga hadde vore i Galleri Nystugu med kunstutstilling av Kristian Finborud, var det tango- rytmar som drog i gang kulturveka.

Band til Nes
Og det vart full klaff. Frå første tone begeistra den internasjonalt anerkjende gruppa med medlemmer frå Argentina, Norge og Estland publikummet i Sorenskrivargarden: Konserten vara i overkant av ein time. Og som ein av tilhøyrarane sa det rett etter konsertslutt:
– Så mykje lidenskap har det aldri vore i Sorenskrivargarden.
– Ei spesiell oppleving, seier Karl Espegard.
Det er han som er hovudgrunnen til at El Muro Tango spelte i Nesbyen. For her budde han i eitt år då han var ti-elleve år. Og her voks mor hans opp og her budde besteforeldra så lengde dei levde. Med familie på plass i salen, vart det ein spesiell kveld også for fiolinisten.
– Veldig artig. Og eg er glad for at så mange kom.

Verda rundt
El Muro Tango vart danna i 2016. Etter det har dei turnert verda over, og for det norske publikummet er gruppa også kjend frå TV2. I programmet «Norske Talenter» i 2018 spelte dei i finalen. Tysdag hadde dei med seg Juan Villarreal som er rekna som ein dei fremste tangosongarane i Argentina. Espegard begynte med musikk då han var åtte år. No er han profesjonell musikar, som ved sida av El Muro Tango har spelt i det store oppsetjinga «The Book of Mormon» på Det Norske Teatret dei siste to åra. Til Nesbyen kom gruppa frå konsertar i Berlin, Innsbruck og Oslo tidlegare i mai. Laurdag står dei på scena i Napoli før turen går til Torino og Milano. I Zürich speler dei 1. juni.
– I 2018 spelte me 60 konsertar. Det blir noko mindre i år, seier Espegard, som var glad for å introdusere ein ny musikksjanger i festspela.
– Tangoen er ikkje så vanleg i Norge, men den har vorte meir og meir utbreidd.

Read in English / Norwegian / Spanish

Published Dec 17, 2018 in Vårt Land

ENGLISH

Great emotions
El Muro Tango & Juan Villarreal
Nostálgico
Galileo

TANGO: The Norwegian-Argentine tango band El Muro Tango released their debut album «Nostálgico» a few weeks ago. Since the band started in 2016 they have toured the world. They mix Argentine traditional tango with elements of jazz and modern music. It moves the tango foot you didn’t know you had, and suddenly you have buttoned up your shirt more than usual. «This is often about lost or impossible love» explains violinist Karl Espegard, who has lived in Buenos Aires for several years.

NORWEGIAN

Store følelser
El Muro Tango & Juan Villarreal
Nostálgico
Galileo

TANGO: Det norsk-argentinske tangobandet El Muro Tango slapp for noen uker siden sitt debutalbum Nostálgico. Siden bandet startet i 2016 har de turnert verden rundt. De blander argentinsk tradisjonell tango med elementer av jazz og moderne musikk. Det rykker i tangofoten du ikke visste at du hadde, og plutselig har du kneppet opp en skjorteknapp mer enn du pleier. «Dette handler ofte om tapt eller umulig kjærlighet» forklarer fiolinist Karl Espegard, som selv har bodd flere år i Buenos Aires.

SPANISH

Grandes emociones
El Muro Tango & Juan Villarreal
Nostálgico
Galileo

TANGO: La banda noruega-argentina de tango El Muro Tango lanzó su álbum debut “Nostálgico” hace unas semanas. Desde que la banda comenzó en 2016, han realizado giras por todo el mundo. Mezclan el tango tradicional argentino con elementos de jazz y música moderna. Movés el pie tanguero que no sabías que tenías, y de repente te abotonaste la camisa más de lo normal. «Esto se trata a menudo de amor perdido o imposible», explica el violinista Karl Espegard, quien ha vivido en Buenos Aires durante varios años.