Gustavo Naveira and Giselle Anne

Bucharest, Romania, June 17-19, 2022


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Why is Gustavo Naveira considered a godfather of argentine tango?

Argentine tango has had a long history since its conception in the late 1880s in the ports of Buenos Aires. As such, it is a dance that has mostly been taught through tradition.

Argentine Tango is a dance that has mostly been taught through tradition.

In a way, how tango was taught brings to mind how old stories were kept alive: through oral tradition. Much like these old stories, Tango had not had a formal written form of instruction for close to a century. Until some semblance of the structure appeared around the 1940s and 1950s, teaching and learning about tango rarely took up a systematized configuration that both students and teachers could use to process and impart its elements in a methodical way.

Gustavo Naveira was one of the first to ask whether such an intuitive, improvisational dance could be grasped using a more logical approach.



Gustavo Naveira And Giselle Anne: The New Tango

In the world-wide community of Argentine tango, there are a few maestros that are sought after everywhere. These are people who have studied, danced, and written about tango so extensively that to study with them means that you'll receive the distilled essence of the form itself.

One of these maestros is Gustavo Naveira.

With his wife Giselle Anne, Gustavo displays a complete knowledge of tango movement and the reasons why tango works so marvelously as a dance form. To study with them is to receive an encyclopedic -- and very exciting -- knowledge of where tango comes from, of its traditions and grand forms, its lore, its music and extraordinary musicality. You don't just do steps, as is so often the case in dance classes, even those taught by other considerable Argentine maestros. Gustavo displays the variations. He asks, "Why do it this way instead of that way?" He changes direction in ways that at first appear impossible, but, done the way they do it, seem altogether natural.

Gustavo has been teaching worldwide for many years. Asked in a 2004 interview in the Argentine publication Pagina 12 why so many people outside of Argentina wanted to study tango, he said "It's a dance that offers you a number of answers to the problems of modern life ... and it's a guide to communication that goes far beyond language and culture."



Naveira - Virtual chat with Gustavo and Giselle

There are two kinds of tango fans that express their passion in a very different way: those who listen and those who dance. Among the first ones the collectors, the broadcasters and the researchers stand out; that is my case. Among the others, the milongueros, the dancers and the instructors; the case of the guys I interview now. Talking with Gustavo and his dancing partner Giselle turns out into a learning experience for anyone and, especially for the one who writes this. It was like entering an alien world that I hardly know because of my scarce forays into milongas and festivals. This virtual conversation encompassed several e-mails we have interchanged for over a week.


I was born on August 12, 1960 in the Patagonian region, in Comodoro Rivadavia (province of Chubut). My parents had moved there to run a shop but all my family was from Buenos Aires. When I was one year old we came back to the capital city.

When I was a child I was nurtured with tango, at home we used to listen to tango and my parents met when they were dancing tango. As you can see, tango was in my life before my birth. But my first steps with dancing occurred unexpectedly when I studied economy in the University of Buenos Aires where there was a course which I attended. There I came to know of my affinity with dancing. Later I studied folk music dancing and enrolled in short courses of classical, modern and Spanish dances. But always it was rather out of curiosity than for a professional interest.



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Gustavo Naveira y Giselle Anne