jorge-dispariThis is a guest post from a tango friend of mine (H.).  Enjoy!

It all started as a curiosity and it ended up like a nice experiment! I am a heavy tango “consumer” and watching  tango related movies, performances is part of my daily routines.
Recently I came across this performance on Osvaldo Fresedo’s “Tigre Viejo”:

Jorge Dispari and Maria del Carmen (“la Turca”) – Osvaldo Fresedo: Tigre Viejo

Amazing performance! But what happened at 01:20?

Without diving too much into details I would say that I really liked the show. By the time I’ve reached the end of the performance, I became curious in a certain moment of the dance. Maybe you have already noticed it as well; there is a shy applause at 01:20.


Besides my personal thoughts on this tiny aspect, I’ve also sent the link to some tango friends with this simple question:

Why are people applauding at 01:20?

While receiving the first answers, I became very curios to see what tango people think when they see a performance. Therefore I’ve decided to send the link and the question to even more tango-friends.

I can tell you that some of them are already also very curios about the outcome of my inquiries.
Here are the answers; before reading them I would suggest you to give your own answer as well; otherwise you might get influenced by what others had in mind.

The outcome

Some people were more busy than others, some were maybe in a hurry. Some gave concise answers and some gave more elaborated answers. No judgement. No names given. No particular order. Still, I took the liberty to organize them into two sets: answers given by followers and answers given by leaders.

Leaders answers:

tango origen

  1. “Yes, beautiful! One can dance tango in a musical and beautiful manner at any age. We do many kinds of figures; I admit that sometimes I also get carried on; but these two manage to do just what’s needed and nothing more. I think the applauses are for that caminata, on the interior and on the exterior; and for musicality.”
  2. “Well, I’ve also had the instinct to applaud while watching the clip. At 1:20 there is a superbly danced musical phrase that ends. It is danced in 3-4-1, exactly how the orquesta sings. Their dance is superb! Then, ‘bailar en compas’: being aware of the measure and respecting it can bring a special flavor to the dance.”
  3. “no idea, may be those who applauded saw something in the faces or embrace”
  4. “I think it is simply about a few steps they did nicely in music…”
  5. “It is how they built the moment. The phrase that ends being applauded comes after a preparation. The tempo, energy, intensity of connection in the previous 2-3 phrases are important for the overall construction as they are the base of the final effect.”
  6. “Very easy! Have you ever started an applause? It’s group pressure.”
  7. “probably the matter is in simplicity. to dance it in a simple and elegant way without double steps and another extra useless stuff. if I was him I probably tried to do more complicated interpretation, but his way is more beautiful, I like it”
  8. “Musicality and nice steps”
  9. “Because they made that clever/tricky/catchy caminata, on the whole musical phrase. Quite hard, especially as they step to the beat of contrabajo from 01:07 to 1:20. At 02:37 they are doing something similar, only with more complex steps, but they step on the same rhythm and again the people applaud.”
  10. “Walking musicality, starts at 01:07 and ends at 01:20. The music was nicely sustained”
  11. “ because he is skipping the second beat so elegantly whilst walking inside and out for the duration of that phrase … great musicality! “

Followers answers:


  1. “Oh, How beautiful … They moved me! I think the applauses are for the attention they give to each other, they follow the music and they synchronize so beautifully.”
  2. “I suppose it is about the coridita on half beats”
  3. “Ha, ha! I think they just repeated the same steps to the music many times in a row, that’s what people like.”
  4. “I used to see that people like repeating movements. if you repeat the ZZZZYYYYsame consequence they will applause. and they did.”
  5. “:))) I guess they appreciated them continuing through the full 4 phrases. Ha, ha! No other idea Maybe the thing they repeated. Well, I like it. I wish to dance at their age.”
  6. “Smooth! It feel like the orquesta is pushing them; in the same time taking care of the dancing couple.”
  7. “That is a miracle :)”
  8. “They have just finished the steps sequence with exterior walking; this requires a lot of dissociation. Quite a big thing, especially for their age.”
  9. “From what I generally saw at tango performances, after a set of repeating figures people starts to applaud; does not matter if the figures were spectacular or not. I think this is the case also here; they are repeating that doble tempo caminar for more than a half of the ronda.”
  10. “They are on the weak beat”
  11. “Hm, let’s say like this:
    The same group of people started the applause twice, a group of people sitting in the right corner that you can’t see (judging by the sound).They might have been clapping because of the repetition of the figure that they might find technically difficult. Or maybe they liked the musicality, their decision of how to rhythmically reflect the pizzicato of the violin. (The similar rhythm or phrase appears twice in the music, both times the dancers express it with the same rhythm though with a different repetition of a figure and both times the same group of people applauds.) Maybe they sensed some emotional value in it, maybe something that cannot be seen on the video.So, i wouldn’t know why they have applauded… I’d say it was a mixture of appreciating the figure, repetition of it, musicality, maybe also taking the age of the dancers into account, who knows.And why so many people applauded? I’d say it was only for the group effect. If you’d ask the people on the left why they applauded… Well, I’m not sure they had an answer… They probably clapped because the others clapped.”

Final words

Music, melodicity, care, musicality, steps, harmony, phrasing, orquesta, attention…
After all the the discussions my original thoughts got mixed up a bit but I still remember that little thing that catched me the first time I saw the clip. I’ve included it in an answer listed/hidden alongside with the other answers.:)

The  article might seem a bit focused on technicalities. With or without them …keep walking and enjoy tango!

Let’s give another round of applauses for Jorge Daniel Dispari y Maria Carmen la Turca.

(for non-English answers: I hope that nothing was lost in translation)