Sunday, January 29, 2012

The girl who dances "Rose Vine Tango" better than most men

Friday, January 20, 2012

You probably know what a fan I am of "Villa Urquiza" style Tango Salon, which I call "Rose Vine Tango".  (Villa Urquiza is a neighborhood of Buenos Aires.)  Almost all the videos I post are examples of this style, and I think you like it too, or you might not remain subscribed to my ezine!  Well, the other day on Facebook, where over 1,000 of my "friends" are from the international tango community, someone posted a video and in the image to click on, the classic pose of the tanguero in the beige suit looked like he might be a dancer I'd like to watch.  
Peninsula Cho and Jinsuk

Yes, I was quite impressed with this smallish, young, Asian man. What refinement, fluidity, precision, musicality, creativity and phenomenal SKILL I observed, as he and his very lovely partner who was taller than he danced to "El Olivo", by the orchestra of Juan D'Arienzo!  They were dancing authentic, exquisite Villa Urquiza style tango.  In a close-up at around 25 seconds into the video, I got a good look at the dancer's face, and I said "Wait a minute!! That's a woman!" 

Now, I prefer in tango when a man is a man, and a woman is a woman.  But this young Korean woman blew me away with her artistry in the man's role, and my admiration for her went through the roof at first viewing! Very curious about this girl named "Peninsula", I googled to find out anything I could about her, and found other Youtube videos, as well as her Facebook page, where I saw photos of the very feminine Peninsula Cho, as well as group photos with her in the beige suit,  . . . AND several photos with Peninsula and her dance partner Jinsuk at a table with an elder Argentino couple I recognized:  the legendary Villa Urquiza teachers, Carlos and Rosa Perez.  AHA!! Carlos and Rosa were the teachers of many Villa Urquiza tango artists I admire, including the emerging young stars Sebastian Jimenez and Maria Inez Bogado, as well as well long-established tango super-diva Natacha Poberaj.  

While Jorge Dispari and Maria del Carmen are Villa Urquiza teachers and fabulous dancers from whom I have directly learned so much, and whom I could watch for hours (I've sent you many of their videos), Carlos and Rosa Perez have interested me less as dancers. Yet they have trained so many dancers I greatly admire!  Peninsula's achievement as a dancer has put the cherry on the cake of my conviction that on my next trip to Buenos Aires, I will study (still as a woman) with Carlos and Rosa!

I'd love to hear your thoughts about Peninsula and Jinsuk.  Comment below!


  1. Hi! My name is Olaya, I run a blog on queer tango named'm an absolutely fan of Peninsula. As a woman leader, she is my model. And I think she should be the model for every man dancing tango. When I see her leading I realize that leading implies femininety. There are loads of worldfamous men leaders who definitely don't concentrate in elegance but in masculinity. And I don't like it. Also I appreciate keeping the villaurquiza style although Peninsula and Muchacha are queer dancers. I'm spanish, and I usually feel a little disappointed with the relation between neotango and queertango, at least in Europe. I don't see the point. I'd like to think queer tango dancers can and should practise traditional tango tight and measured embrace.That's why I was very happy when I found Peninsula. I hope I could bring her to Spain someday. I hope european and northamerican queer tango festivals organizars are trying to invite her...Thank you for your comments about Peninsula and also the information about their teachers... Abrazos from Madrid. Olaya

  2. Hola, Olaya! What a nice coincidence: I just read your post on terpsichoral's blog, Tangoaddiction Terpsichoral is such a wonderful writer! And you, she and I all appreciate Peninsula Cho. I am a heterosexual woman and traditional my tango role, and as a tango teacher I specialize in teaching heterosexual men. As different as we are, I appreciate your love for Villa Urquiza tango, and your admiration for Peninsula as a leader. I have cited Peninsula to my male students as an example, along with Villa Urquiza male artists who have years or decades more experience than she does. Why should you not bring her to Spain? I think it could be easy, but I'm not sure what your concern is. Let me know if I can help with some ideas.