Jonathan Clarisa – A summer chat
Hi guys, please tell us how did you start tango and when?
We both started thanks to our families.
Clari: my parents have been tango masters for many years and my uncles and aunts are artists too. I dance tango and other dances from childhood, but in the course of the years I really fell in love with tango and started to live it how I do now.
Joni: My family members are folklorists, we are two brothers and one sister and all our lives we have loved to dance, it was thanks to them that I met tango. At first I did not understand it, but it attracted me a lot, and then, I could not get rid of it, it was like discovering a new world!
How did you meet each other?
As many people already know, we are from the center of Argentina. We were born in two different towns of Cordoba, about three hours from each other. But the concentration of tango was in the Capital, that’s why when we were around 16 years old, whenever we could we traveled to the milongas to dance with our friends from the neighborhood.
Whose idea was it to join the competition? How was the experience?
The World Championship of Tango was an incredible experience for us. It helped us to work hard and set short-term goals.
We got together to practice with our friends, 3, 6 or 10 couples, and we helped and supported each other. We were drinking mate, sharing ideas and strengthening the friendship among the “competitors”. We believe that the idea of competition, is to grow individually and that among friends we could help each other and that was the most beautiful thing of all.
Meeting people from all over the world, sharing the backstage with them, participating in all the milongas full of people, meeting many of the best teachers and tango dancers in the world. It’s was a big party!!!
Who are your maestros and role models in tango and/or in life?
Our Tango is made up of a lot of effort, many teachers and also many milonga nights. Among the most important in the beginning are Facundo de la Cruz and Paola Sanz, Carla Mazzolini and Gaspar Godoy, Hugo Aragón and Valeria Saavedra… We consider them our teachers not only because they have formed our dance, but also our personalities and our professionality as well. They were our advisors, they accompanied us, we shared time together and we understood their point of view. Up to no they are the first ones whom we ask their point of view regarding our tango.
Over the years we have worked with many professionals who have contributed infinitely to our dance, and they are the ones who helped the development of our dance!
From your way of dancing I have the feeling that you are perfectionists and from my perspective you brought a new ‘breath’ in salon style performances. How would you describe your style and dance?
I think that the way we feel about tango and the way we are is visible when we dance or teach a class! It is pure passion!
The style is in you, sometimes you only have to discover it. However while searching you live different stages and moments of life. We always try to be honest with what we want or how we feel, that makes some things seem special or different.
What is the most important thing for you in tango?
Being honest with yourself! Understanding what I like or what I want…
What attracts you more? Teaching or performing?
I think what we like is the balance of both things, because performing gives you adrenaline, the nerves, the capability to fly away and forget everything!
Thanks to teaching we are having the occasion to learn ourselves and gain experience. It brings us close to people, gives us the possibility to know them better and they can also know us better.
I think that’s the nice thing, the balance, and in both we are trying to give our best to our audience.
Your job requires a lot of travelling. Don’t you sometimes feel tired or home-sick? How do you manage it at all?
The only thing that is tiring us is the luggage, hahaha!!!
We believe that it is like any worker’s life, one has responsibilities, sometimes you just want to rest.. sometimes you get tired of some city or do not eat well, had a bad day and it creates some difficulties. However, it had already happened to us that we got to the class and same people raised our spirits with their desire to work, and all those things were forgotten. People give you back what you do with affection and love. Those things are so important. It also happens to me that we miss our home, our bed, staying there without moving every weekend.. But to be honest, we love what we do, and we are fanatics, hahaha! Many times we continue listening to tango in our spare time, we read history books, we take classes, we are enthusiastic milongueros.
We really love that tango is a part of our lives!
What are your plans for the future in tango? What do you want to do next in short and long term?
For now we want to continue growing, we feel that we can give much more, that we have much to do and much to learn. Tango is so rich that we feel that we can go much deeper.
We actually started to work as a couple who wanted to do stage tango… It would be nice to be able to continue this at some point. We would also like to do more projects with people of our age, letting people know that tango is for all ages and that there are young people who struggle and work for tango.
What would you say to people who want to improve their tango?
The philosophy of tango is beautiful, unique and popular. If you want to dance tango, try to understand that. Tango is not only what you see with the naked eye (steps, sensuality, etc …), respect it, know it!
Thanks for your time 🙂 Any last words?
Thank you guys for spreading tango!!
Thanks a lot and looking forward to meeting you soon in one of the festivals.
Featured image design by Petar Pavlov for Bratislava Tango Festival