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Apilado Style

Apilado Style

The Apilado style, also known as Milonguero style, is a distinctive approach to dancing Tango Argentino. The term “Apilado” translates to “piled up” in English, reflecting the close, leaning embrace characteristic of this style. It is predominantly danced in crowded milongas (tango dance events) where space is limited. This style emphasizes connection and intimacy between partners rather than large, sweeping movements.

Embrace and Posture

In the Apilado style, dancers maintain a close embrace where the upper bodies of the partners are in contact from the chest down to the abdomen. The dancers often lean slightly towards each other, creating a shared axis. This posture necessitates a high degree of trust and communication, as both partners rely on each other for balance and movement initiation.

Movement and Steps

The movements in Apilado style are generally small and precise to accommodate the crowded dance floors. The style focuses on the caminata (the walk), emphasizing smooth and grounded steps. Figures and steps are executed with minimal embellishment, prioritizing musicality and connection over visual spectacle.

Social Aspect

Apilado style is closely associated with the social aspect of tango dancing in Buenos Aires. It is less about performance and more about the shared experience of the dance. The embrace in Apilado is often described as more intimate and personal, aligning with the social and communal spirit of the milonga.

Historical Context

The Apilado style became popular in the 1940s and 1950s during the Golden Age of Tango. During this period, milongas were often very crowded, necessitating a style of dance that could be comfortably performed in tight spaces. This style was developed and refined by dancers who frequented these social dance settings, and it remains a popular and respected style in contemporary tango communities.

Key Figures and Influences

Prominent figures in the Apilado style include Susana Miller, who is renowned for her expertise and teaching of this style. She has contributed significantly to the understanding and dissemination of the Apilado style in both Argentina and abroad.

Psychoanalytic Connections

As explored in “Dancing with the Locos: A Comparative Study,” the close embrace of the Apilado style can be seen as a parallel to the psychoanalytic concept of containment and the preverbal communication between mother and child. The intimate connection and non-verbal communication in Apilado tango create a unique dynamic that is both therapeutic and emotionally resonant for the dancers.

Andreas MaierA

Andreas Maier

Researcher in Love with Tango!

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