Milonga: what does it mean to you?

Just wondering about international Argentine Tango lingo.

A milonga, while a social AT gathering, is also the name of a quick AT (and an enormously fun one). Is the term used both ways overseas too or just here in Australia to describe one of three types of AT (waltz, tango and milonga)?


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Huh? Waltz, tango and milonga?

I was thinking practica -- practice session where a group of people gather to learn and practice tango. and Milonga -- social gathering where people (who already know how to some extent) dance tango.

How does this differ from what happens in Australia?
Yeah, Jenn...the three different types of AT beats and, I suppose, sub-dances...there's the slow AT waltz, the solid, easily identifiable Argentine Tango tango and the fun, kinda bouncy, very cheeky milonga...all done with AT steps, but with a different tempo and, well,'s sooo cool.

Generally a milonga is a mix of all three, you do them in bunches of three and, if the guy is pleasant to dance with, you do a fourth, like, as one guy put it the other night, a "tip". :)

The night is a mix of AT beats _ milongas, waltzes and outright tangos _ it's a great way to ensure that AT dancers of all types and levels enjoy the night.

Practica, hmmm...I guess all the ones I've attended have been a mix of both, though technically they've all been milongas.

I find AT people are so kind-hearted and tolerant that every event I've been to has had a mix of beginners and experienced dancers, but there's never a problem getting a dance because, an this has only been my experience, but the experienced dancers are always so welcoming and willing to dance with you (or me, a beginner).
Yeah, Sagitta, I've heard of those...probably because they're both street latin dances and it breaks up the, dare I say it, monotony.

Not that you get bored (see posting above), but sometimes your feet just need a little break from one type of dance, I know of a number of events where they chuck in a salsa or slow cha cha to break it up, nothing too radical or bouncy, but enough to provide a little variety.
Yes, so please correct me if I am wrong. There are two meanings for milonga:
1: An Argentine tango dance (as in party)
2: Tango music where you take one step for each beat of music, usually done at a brisk pace.


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milonga the dance

I trawled up these :

With regard to the specifically musical aspect, Milonga is related to a type of music composed in 2/4 binary measure. The musicólogos used to say that it was originated in the Spanish alternative measure, then passed through the cubans guajiras up to be taken and transformed in the colonial time (1800s) by the criollo guitar player. It took part at the origin of the tango (1890), in the fast way with a strong rhythm for dancing, known as milonga campera.

There's an interesting description of Milonga rhythm and Milonga music in an article by David Drake where he refers to the 'spicy rhythms' of Tango, being 'sincopa' and 'milonga'

Milonga (flamenco)
(SONG FORM) This song form originated in Argentina. Played in 4/4 time in A minor, it is similar in some ways to the Farruca, except that the falsetas are more lyrical. It has syncopations and a mood of controlled passion reminiscent of the Tientos. The compas is variable: sometimes free, sometimes well defined. The song modulates from minor to major at certain times and in places displays distinct rhythmic and melodic reflections of the Argentinean Tango.
A milonga - party dance with some lessons in Vals and Tango is enhanced by a little occasional Salsa and vice versa. I wish more clubs and dance DJ's would mix these rhythms for a great night of dance. :D
Welcome to the Dance Forums Rockinrobin!

Though I know some Tango purists may disagree, I am on your side. It's nice mix in a little Salsa to liven things up a bit, and I know I would be more likely to attend a Milonga knowing I could dance some salsa too.
Welcome, RockinRobin! :)
I'm with you...I was at a milonga last night and, as much as I love Argentine Tango tunes, there was relief all around when the odd salsa was thrown in and a cha cha here and there...the mix is particularly helpful when you're single...there's only so much romance and passion a gal can handle when she's not part of it! LOL
Yep, DM and BTM, they're my understandings of milonga too...but I guess it depends on where you learn and which ATers you hang around with...form what I gather most people either associate the term with one or the other, but rarely both...


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Rockinrobin said:
A milonga - party dance with some lessons in Vals and Tango is enhanced by a little occasional Salsa and vice versa. I wish more clubs and dance DJ's would mix these rhythms for a great night of dance. :D
Sorry RockinRobin can't agree with you there. while there's a tradition of playing a brief clip of some other music between tandas (three tango songs) I regard salsa interludes as an annoying interference. Don't why this sop to salsa dancers occurs. A bit of Gotan Project would add a change in flavour and we have Milonga - the dance - for a change in pace.
Just because tango dancers are an oppressed minority doesn't mean we have to be trampled underfoot by the herds of salsa dancers.
:evil: :evil: :evil:


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Do you really think AT dancers are an oppressed minority? I tend to agree, at least outside Buenos Aires, but I'm wondering why you said that, bordertangoman.

Also, I find it curious that salsa songs would be played in between sets of tango. The music has a totally different feel. That must be very disruptive, I would guess.

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