She had to learn to love the tango

by Hans Christof Wagner — az Aargauer Zeitung (Leading regional newspaper of the Canton of Aargau, Switzerland)

Last updated 29.5.2016 at 5:41 p.m.

© Hans Christof Wagner

She always thought that the dance from her homeland Argentina was something for old people. In the meantime, the artist from Rheinfelden has dedicated an exhibition to the tango.

She was born in Rosario/Argentina in 1965. However tango never played a role in her family. She remembers: «Whenever tango came on TV, we found it boring and even switched off.» But after having left her home country, the popular folk dance, closely associated with Argentina as the gauchos, the pampa and the beef steak, took a new dimension for her.
The melancholy of the tango’s lyrics and music reflects the pain of a generation that emigrated to Argentina at the beginning of the 20th century when they left their European homeland. «That’s when I realised that I am also an immigrant», says Bettina Costa, who lives in Switzerland since 15 years and since ten in Rheinfelden.
So he approached the subject artistically, as befits his profession, finding pleasure in the process. During three creative years (from 2014 to 2016), entire series have been created, which were exhibited in the Kurbrunnenanlage until yesterday Sunday.

Three creative years

The first cycle from 2014 are mainly abstract, style to which she had previously devoted herself most closely. Here, the bodies of the dancers are only dimly discernible and two-dimensional. But the range of the exhibition was immense: from miniature representations on corrugated cardboard to large-format works in acrylic with different focuses, colours and perspectives.

Charming: the sepia of the old tango guides in contrast to the colourful figures from magazines and fashion catalogues pasted on them, which made them appear even more trendy and fresh. Perhaps nothing could make Bettina Costa’s change of heart more obvious: «For me, tango today has nothing to do with old people, today it is fashion, youth and identity.»

New initiative of the city

The tango exhibition in the Kurbrunnenanlage was the prelude of a new municipal initiative: «Art meets music», initiated by Michelle Geser. «We would like to create a new medium, on a smaller scale, within the culture night», said city councillor Béa Bieber at the opening. And: «If it goes well, we’d like to do carry out two or three exhibitions a year.»

Art meets music – this was already the programme for Bettina Costa’s exhibition: in addition to the artistic examination of tango, there was also tango to hear and see: to original sounds from Argentina, the professionals Lia Jeker and Ozgur El turquito Demir showed that dance has nothing to do with old people.

View original article in German