Maria Ines Bogado: “Tango is not my job, it’s my life style”
The new (tango) year has just started and we have already planned some nice tango trips for 2015. Among other nice events that we will host and visit is the lovely “must” event of the year Belgrade Tango Encuentro. This year there will be different couples than we are used to, which does not mean that they will be less interesting. One of the couples that already has taught, performed and spiced up last year’s Encuentro in Belgrade is Sebastian Jimenez and Maria Ines Bogado. This beautiful lady of the lovely elegant couple floating over the dance floors of all the world’s milongas dedicated me one of her morning coffee-times while having her breakfast in the hotel in Moscow during the festival Planetango. It was a very pleasant chat about tango, girlish things and some good food. Let me share some of the interesting outcomes with you… Enjoy!
First I have to ask you this “cliché” question (sorry, but the answers are always so interesting 🙂). Did you dance before starting tango – how did you start?
Before discovering tango I was dancing folklore from the age of 12 to 13 years. I liked it a lot and therefore I decided to study to become a folklore teacher for children. At the end of my studies, that lasted 5 years, I had my first encounter with tango. My teacher suggested me to do a show at the end of the school year that would be a little bit different, she said “let’s do tango” and so I learned my first tango choreography for the show.
Tango was different than folklore – the folkloric dances are dances of seduction, tango is more sensual, more intimate and I liked the connection in tango more than the seduction in folklore. After my first tango class I returned back home and told my mum that I wanted to learn tango. I was 17 years old and my mum was begging me to finish my studies first 🙂 In 1998 I attended my first tango course and it was very interesting for me; it was great to learn something new and different. After that I left all my ‘folklore teaching career’ and fell desperately in love with tango…
Do you have a favorite place to dance? (A milonga where you feel that you are really enjoying…)
My preferred milonga in Buenos Aires is Sunderland 🙂 It is the first milonga I went to and I like it, because it is big, young people are attending it, it is traditional, but you can see there many styles. I love the energy of people in this milonga, they are sharing tango love, they love people and are very open. There is a practica of my preferred maestro on Mondays and Wednesdays. I also love milonga La Baldosa, they really make you feel like at home, they welcome you with the warmth of a family, they kiss and hug you like your mum, grandma or aunties…
What makes a tanda unforgettable for you? What do you need to be able to say “I really loved this tanda/dance”?
From the music point of view I like many orchestras and I prefer the more romantic ones like Osvaldo Pugliese in his more romantic decade, but I also like the stronger music from him. Further, I love Miguel Calò, Carlos Di Sarli, in general the more emotional and more melodic music.
As for the dance partner I have to feel that he receives me, surrounds me, is with me in the dance.
What can really annoy you in a leader you dance with?
I don’t like when the man does not thinks about the woman in the dance, but concentrates on the figure, not on the form of how he presents the woman and accepts her as a person. I love when the couple is moving like one person, when the dancers are concentrated into each other. As I said above, when I saw tango for the first time, I loved that it is more about the connection and therefore I don’t like when the man is harsh and wants to show something to the outer world, the people around, not keeping the feeling inside the couple, inside the embrace. Even in tango Nuevo there are ways and styles of dancing that allow the man to show the lady he is dancing with, to show he is there with her.
Let’s change the topic a little bit. You are enjoying your breakfast-croissant… What is your favorite food? Which Argentinean food do you miss when travelling?
I love many different things. When I travel, I love to learn about the new culture through the typical local food, I like to try the new things.
In Argentina I love to eat meat, but I also like pasta, in Italy they make a great pasta just with water, salt and 2 to 3 ingredients, I like rice, fish, vegetables… everything!
What I miss of Argentina is the asado (BBQ) with friends, more because of the friends than the meat 🙂
Ines, you travel a lot for your work. Changing countries and continents is part of your life. Do you have something (a pillow, a teddy bear) that you carry with you wherever you go in order to feel “at home”?
No, I don’t have anything like that. I have no free space in my luggage. I always fill my luggage. When packing, my luggage has 23 kg in the beginning and ends with who knows how many kg ;). In the first trip we did with Sebastian (Jimenez) my luggage was 17 kg when we left, and then, at the end of the trip, I filled Sebastian’s luggage with the new things I bought and I had an additional suitcase myself.
There are different mentalities in the countries you travel to and teach. Where do you have the most fun when teaching tango to people?
In the beginning, in our first workshops, it was a little bit difficult, because people are very careful about the information you give them and the relationship they built with you in the beginning. We, Argentineans, are more relaxed people and the students were more serious, not because they didn’t like us, but simply because of their culture. We are used to hug everyone and in the beginning they could not believe that we were hugging them before knowing them at all.
People in Asia, for instance, show a lot of respect in the beginning, but when they see that we are relaxed, they also relax. In general, people in Europe are different; they need time to know us, in order to open their hearts 🙂
People in Asia are very dedicated to the studies; they are more serious about it, but e.g. in Korea I feel like in Argentina. Koreans are very relaxed people.
If you had to choose not to be a tango maestra and do another job, what would it be? Do you have an alternative dream-job? 🙂
Dance has always been my life, since I was a kid. For me dance is a form of art, I like to know the body, how and why we move. I think that if I had to do another job, like a doctor, secretary, language teacher or any other job, dance would still be the important part of my life. Actually, I don’t see dance as a job; it is my life style.
What is your favorite tango-shoe brand? (type, style of shoe) What is important for you when choosing tango shoes?
For many years I have been wearing Neotango, they are very soft. In my life I have used a lot of shoes, but recently I also have used shoes of a Korean brand Odile, I use them for teaching, for the milonga and also the show, they produce also tailor made shoes – the dream of every woman – to have the shoes fitting her own dress 🙂
Do you prefer instrumental tango songs or tango songs with lyrics (do you have a preferred song?)
I prefer tangos with lyrics, I prefer to perform to tangos with lyrics, because of the emotion that the singer’s voice gives me, I dance the emotion, it makes me feel the warmth of the melody, of the song. I love these tangos and together with Sebastian we love the tangos with lyrics.
I have many preferred songs, but one of them is Recuerdo from Osvaldo Pugliese with Jorge Maciel.
Last but not least: do you have a way of pampering yourself after a hard-working period of time? (like a good dessert in a restaurant 😉 or any other way)
I love to have a massage and also good food and dessert. All of them! In our life, it is not so much the work that makes us tired, but also the trips. For example, we often travel long distances, like recently from Frankfurt to Singapure or from Paris to Shanghai, from Buenos Aires to Asia; we don’t sleep in our own beds and our own homes. Sometimes it happens that the body calls for a massage and in these moments I go for a massage, I can’t wait for the holiday 🙂
Who is Maria Ines Bogado?
Born in Argentina, she has been dancing from the age of 12 years and discovered tango at the age of 18. She loves dance and it is her life, not only work. She has been dancing with Sebastian Jimenez since 2010, giving workshops, performing and spreading tango love all around the world, across the continents. Together with Sebastian they are nowadays one of the most renowned couples and winners of the Mundial of Tango in 2010. At the same year they were also recognized for their unique expression in tango vals in the Metropolitan Championship of Buenos Aires.
Maria Ines’ most important maestros are Carlos Perez y Rosa Forte and her preferred milonga in Buenos Aires is Club Sunderland.