How inclusive is the dance of love? Same-sex couples compete in the tango world championships
Tango is often regarded as the dance of love. But must that love be strictly straight? Queer tango dancers from around the world are challenging gender expectations using dance. Last year, for the first time, two men made it to the finals of the world championships. This film will follow queer couples in this year’s competition. It will explore the politics of visibility, the negotiation of gender roles in a heavily patriarchal context, and themes of acceptance and symbolic cultural change.
Filmmaker Kaatje Jones “Queer tango has long fascinated me. As a woman who dances both roles, I have seen first-hand what a powerful tool dancing “the man’s role” can be. I never need to wait for a man to ask me to dance, even when I am a newcomer in a strange country. Besides, leading allows me to interpret the music my own way.”
“But queer tango is much more than this. It began in the queer community as a safe space for people of any gender and sexual orientation to dance together. Everyone learns to both lead and follow, and many can switch between those roles. The proposal of the queer tango movement is that tango should be danced without pre-established roles attached to the gender of the dancers. This opens up new possibilities for the evolution of the dance and eliminates assumptions about sexual orientation or role choice. Basically, you shouldn’t be able to tell anything about a person’s gender or sexual preferences based on whom they choose to dance with.”
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