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'GlamourTango' Pays Tribute To Women In Tango

Bonnie North

When most people think of tango, they think of sex.  And that’s by design – the music and dance originated in the bordellos of Bueno Aires at the turn of the last century.

For a long time, “nice” women – virtuous women – weren’t allowed to dance the tango. But the music and the rhythms are almost irresistible. And women began practicing the dance with each other, and sometimes even dressed as men to participate before it was broadly acceptable.

From the 1950s until the early 2000s, it was still a male-dominated art form, especially among musicians. Polly Ferman changed that. Almost a decade ago, Uruguayan classical pianist Polly Ferman created an all-female ensemble to explore and make tribute to women in tango. 

GlamourTango is performing tonight at Latino Arts on Milwaukee’s south side.  Lake Effect's Bonnie North chats with Polly Ferman and Mariana Parma, the choreographer and a dancer in the show. Ferman discusses tango’s significance not only in history, but in her life.

"For me it's a style that talks about human life...Tango is melancholic, tango is strong, is passionate, and for me life is all of that," Ferman says. "It's not only that, but for me tango is the way I conceived it, with an homage to women."

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.