Tango is my way of expressing how I feel, said Julián Caeiro, musical director of the Argentine group “Elegante Sport”

Julián Caeiro is musical director of the group Elegante Sport, which was invited to Andorra in the framework of the first Tango Festival.

Born in Buenos Aires, Julián Caeiro is a pianist, composer and arranger, specializing in Argentine tango. He studied music at the National Conservatory of Music “Carlos López Buchardo,” the Popular School of Music of Avellaneda and the National University of Lanus. He has toured in Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Romania, USA, Japan, China, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, participating in major Argentinean and classical music productions.
We spoke to Julián about the evolution of tango, in both music and dance styles, and the band’s impressions of Andorra and its immediate plans:

“The first tango festival was held in Andorra. For a first festival, everything went perfectly. I was very impressed to see so many people passionate about tango.

It was our first time in Andorra, a very beautiful place with amazing people. I discovered a beautiful multicultural country full of diverse people, including my native Argentina. I hope to do the event again next year!

Now a few words about the origin of the name Elegante Sport.

It’s not a typical name for a tango band. If we talk about dressing style, Elegante Sport is a way of  dressing with elegance while, at the same time feeling comfortable. Music is kind of eclectic – even contradictory. When we talk about the tango of Buenos Aires, we mean classical, academic tango. But there’s also a new wave, and we try to play both. We have a repertoire of milonga, elegant tango from the 40s, but we also have a “sportier” modern tango.

Here, in Andorra, you saw six musicians, a singer and two tango dancers… In this particular case, dancers from Barcelona were invited to Andorra. They listened to our music and decided they wanted to dance to it. It’s great when, at our concerts, we can work with artists from different countries to create an amazing show.

Currently, I compose a lot. I was born and live in Buenos Aires, and, for me, tango is a huge part of my culture – it’s my music. I like to compose and perform my own works, but I also like to play traditional tango. I’m not trying to change anything, but I think we should be able to listen to and discover new composers; otherwise, music will be like a museum.

For me, Astor Piazzolla was the main door to the world of tango, and I am very close to his way of thinking. But I also like Aníbal Troilo, Osvaldo Pugliese, Alberto Ginastera, Carlos Guastavino and Juan José Castro. They are my main authorities on Argentine music.

And now let’s talk about the evolution of tango. The tango used to be performed exclusively by men, so its striking characteristics, since long ago, are marked a “masculine” style of leading. But now we are experiencing a big wave of feminism in dance. We’ve moved away from the canon: the man leads and the woman follows. Now, the woman often leads the man.

As I said, there are more and more tango musicians with a new kind of tango. So far, this music is only to listen to, not to dance to. The next step is to create a dance for this type of tango music. But the truth is that dancers like to dance traditional tango.

What does tango symbolize for me? Well, it’s my way of expressing how I feel – it connects me to my roots.

We have new concerts coming up. On Sunday, we left Andorra. Our next destination is Barcelona, where we will take a break. Some musicians will go to Madrid; others to Birmingham in England. We will be split up for 10 days; then, we will perform in Grinoble, France, Milan, Venice, and other cities in Italy. Finally, we will finish in Geneva, Switzerland and in Innsbruck, Austria on the 5th of May.

Then, we will split up and I will go with other musicians to Romania, where we will stay for a month, performing with an Argentine singer, and then come back to Milan and finish the tour by playing some Astor Piazzolla concerts. For me, it will be two months and half trip. And for the whole band it, will be 25 days”.

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