The British and the Argentinean who dazzle England with tango
Kim and David. They met in Buenos Aires and lived together 11 years ago in London. They give classes of milonga to many people and they have students from 20 to 89 years old.
13 years ago, blonde Kim Schwartz crossed Corrientes Avenue towards Riobamba. (nearby TangoParadise) She was just an British tourist of 29 years in Buenos Aires. She was so different from the Argentinian women that she attracted the attention of all the locals. But David Benítez, a morocho from Formosa, 27, looked at her more. He realized that he knew her. But he did not remember where. That afternoon of 2005 had been joined them by chance. But the tango had already joined them, a little earlier.
Today they are 11 years old living in England, they are world-class dancers and besides being the most famous tango teachers in that country, 8 years ago they organize a glamorous tango event at the Old Finsbury Town Hall in London to send funds to foundations from Argentina. Like FUSAVI, which fights against avoidable blindness and operates people lacking resources.
In January, when that Tango Annual Ball was attended by more than 300 people at £ 45 ($ 1,296), the couple managed to get Marianela Nuñez to dance, the best dancer of the Royal Ballet of England, also from Argentina. But this story is about two. In a British milonga.
So famous is this couple in the London 2x4 that the BBC interviewed them in 2017 when they celebrated 100 years of "La Cumparsita".
"In London you can dance tango from Monday to Monday. There are classes everywhere. But we teach the real tango, not the one that is 'for the tourists' ", explains Kim, who is 42 years old today. He speaks with Clarín from the house they have in Hampstead, in the interior of London, and refers to the ballroom tango. That has aerial tricks and a style closer to the “Bailando por un sueño”(the popular tv show by Marcelo Tinelli) than the foreigners see in Caminito (the popular neighborhood of La Boca, where immigrants arrived after war world two).
"That's for the scenario. Our students do not want to show, they want to dance like in any milonga in Buenos Aires, "he continues. From "so much hating the ballroom", he had to travel to Argentina to learn about Piazzolla.
The first time Kim met the tango was in a church in Camden Town, in the mid-'90s. Al Pacino had already danced Por una cabeza in Perfume de Mujer (1992) and the scene - famous or "very badly danced" for these teachers - popularized the rhythm in Europe. According to her, "more than Gardel".
Now, in London, indeed, the milongas open until Monday. Or on Tuesdays, like Negracha, which fills its three floors. Or on Sundays, in Tango Etnia. The average is £ 9 and start at 19 and last until 2 in the morning.
"Kim left her legal career and her job as legal manager in England for the company Tango Por Dos to learn to dance in Argentina and dedicate her life to that. That's where I met her, in a meeting between tango friends. He did not give me a dance. A year later, when I saw her in the street, I approached her. We do not split up anymore, "says David. And the tango is to approach us still more.
"You can say that the English are colder than we are and those who are just beginning find it hard to be so close. It is true. But London is such a cosmopolitan city that we have students from all over Europe, many Colombians and several Argentinians. So in the end they let go and end up being part of an incredible group of doctors, architects, lawyers dancing in a real British milonga, "he explains.
This morocho from Formosa and the "English tourist" opened Tango Movement, a dance studio that is minutes from the most visited spot in London: Picadilly Circus. In addition to the location in Soho, they have two studios in Bloomsbury and in the area known as London City, for intermediate and advanced dance classes, such as those who have just participated in the UK Tango Championships for a place in the World Championship. of Tango in Buenos Aires.
About those who come to them to dance tango in the milongas, they describe them as a majority "between 30 and 35 years old", although - she clarifies - they have "students of 20 and one of 89". Between all the levels, they reach 200 students per week.
The amateurs choose for the combo of 4 classes to 100 per month. "We do not put them in modern or commercial tangos (like the electronic one, in the background style), we make them dance real tango, like 'Nada', or some of Miguel Caló," says Kim and adds that he does not "dance" La Cumparsita because the Argentine milongas almost do not dance, and this is a milonga, even if it's British. "
At the age of 18, David arrived in Buenos Aires from his hometown and started classes at the Teatro Colón. Then he went to the San Martin Workshop, where the best professionals of contemporary dance in the country are trained, and three years later, he was already part of the ballet. From there it did not stop. He danced with Maximiliano Guerra and they began their trips abroad. Like to Europe, where at that time he had not gone when he crossed Kim in the street. Today they have two English daughters. But the tango had already joined them.