Brian Dunn, Tango of the Heart, Boulder, CO

July 30, 2012

Comprehensive, adventurous, and deeply satisfying.

The tango’s global reach can be difficult to appreciate from one’s own familiar perspective, encompassing as it does not only the South American dancers and musicians that gave it birth and sustain it in its land of origin, but also the far more numerous tango aficionados from around the world who discover within themselves a powerful resonance with this magical cultural expression. Beatriz Dujovne’s deeply satisfying book recounts her spirited and multifaceted journey to interweave the tango’s many perspectives in her own life, from an academic’s fresh look at the history of tango, along with extensively detailed recountings of interviews and milonga experiences in her native Buenos Aires, on the one hand, to the threads of her life in the United States (which includes a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri) on the other, including a fascinating set of experiences at USA tango festivals and interviews with non-Argentine tango aficionados from around the world. Throughout her explorations, her narrative voice sustains a sense of awe and wonder at the magical effects of tango on its adherents. Among an increasing selection of recently published “tango memoirs”, this book is the first I’ve seen which combines an academic’s drive for detail and solid research with such an appealing breadth of observation of the rich “flora and fauna” of the contemporary tango world.

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