Book Review: Stop Worrying About Milonga Turn Fear Into Confidence : Filling in the Blanks of Argentine Tango Book 8

Published May 3rd 2020
Author: Chris

Title: Stop Worrying About Milonga Turn Fear Into Confidence : Filling in the Blanks of Argentine Tango Book 8

Author: Oliver Kent

Pages: 176

Published: April 2020

ISBN: 979-8637840649

Link to Amazon

This is the 8th and latest instalment of Oliver Kent’s series on Filling in the Blanks of Argentine Tango. As with the previous few books (Books 5-7) in the series, he continues to look into musicality, however, this book moves on from Tango to Milonga.

Over 176 pages and 12 chapters Kent aims to explain the common rhythms found in milonga music and ways to interpret and dance to them. Once you’re through the introduction the book covers the perceived speed of milonga music, the Habanera rhythm, through traspies before finishing with corridas.

To aid the readers inderstanding, at the beginning of each chapter the author lists the music that he refers to for examples and exercises which include milonga classics such as Canaro’s Milonga Sentimental and Laurenz’s Milonga de Mis Amores, as well as music by The Muppets and Bach. The author also suggests watching certain YouTube videos in order to help the reader visually understand.

Speaking of visuals, as with his previous books in the series, Oliver Kent has included Illustrations by Oscar B. Frise to guide the reader through the exercises and explain technique. This is a welcome return, although I did find the figures showing the steps, musical stave, Kent’s rhythm notation and beats slightly messy due to the vertical dashed alignment lines.

Another welcome return are the quotes which emphasise the authors points, in this book stand out quotes come from LMFO, MacGyver and Phil Collins, as well as the trouble shooting sections and summary at the end of every chapter.

As with the previous books in the Filling in the Blanks of Argentine Tango Series, this book is easy to read and contains a lot of useful information and exercises. Once again he has managed to balance providing information with an entertaining writing style. As the title implies and as Kent observes in the introduction, many dancers feel intimidated and worried when a milonga track comes on at a milonga and this book could go a long way in reassuring those who feel like that. This is a book that will not teach you to dance milonga if you are a complete beginner (but then again what complete beginner will try and learn to dance from a book), but instead clearly explains possibilities and clears up uncertainties that dancers may have. It also gives some very useful exercises if you are teacher that your class may find very helpful. So this book is another excellent addition to any Tango Library.

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