pasos de tango

I was born in Argentina, the home of tango. However, I never paid much attention to that aspect of my culture. I regarded tango as something «for old people». I never thought I would ever be interested in tango… until I emigrated.
Living abroad I realized that tango was really Argentina’s music symbol. Whenever I said I’m from Argentina, I was immediately asked: «Can you dance tango?»

At the beginning of the 20th century Argentina was crowded with immigrants hoping to earn their fortunes in this newly expanding country to return to Europe or bring their families to the other side of the ocean. The tango lyrics reflect their profound sense of loss and longing for the people and places they left behind. Tango helped them to forget their sorrows.

I am also an immigrant. I came to Switzerland for a quite different reason from that of those immigrants in Argentina and I’ve never been homesick at all. But perhaps unconsciously I was looking for something that could help me not to lose my roots. And I found it with tango.
No, I cannot dance tango; not at least in the traditional way.

With my series «Pasos de Tango» I want to show how I deal with my life far away from Argentina.

Tango evolved. With acoustic music and synthesizers the «Tango nuevo» was popularized in the 60‘s. Today, tango enjoys worldwide popularity; ever-evolving, neo-tango is a global phenomenon with renown groups like Tanghetto, Bajofondo and Gotan Project.

In the same way I want to show this evolution with my works: tango is no longer for me something «for old people». Tango is modern, tango is fashion, tango is global. And most important: tango helps me to get my roots back. Tango is identity.

Bettina Costa – Switzerland / 2015