Turned on by tango
In 2000 Tina Solveig Koch started dancing Argentinean tango. It is a dance she had wanted to dance for many years, and once she got started, it promptly became a passion. Today Tina is deeply involved in the planning of a queer tango festival in connection with World Outgames. It will be the world’s largest, and also the first of its kind in Denmark.
Written by Mette Thornval
"Tango is an intuitive dance, and you have to feel the music, since there is no arranged order in the figures. The leading dancer creates the dance by combining steps and figures in close interaction with the music and the partner. You have to “speak” together silently. It is truly exciting, and a very rewarding way to work with your body. Every single dance in Tango is unique, and it is an experience” Tina Solveig explains. Around the same time she started dancing, she came out as a lesbian. For Tina Solveig it was relieving, wonderful and easy. Through PanDans, Tina Solveig heard about a woman who was seeking a dance partner for dancing contests, and since this was also a great opportunity to get in touch with other gay people, she joined PanDans. She danced a few trials with a woman called Mette, and they decided to keep dancing together. Shortly after the fell in love with each other, and they got married two years later, in August 2005.
Denmark’s first and worlds biggest queer tango festival
Today Tina Solveig is deeply involved in planning the first queer tango festival in Denmark, related to World Outgames. Queer tango is not exactly a new phenomenon. In 2000, the first international Queer Tango Festival took place in Hamburg, Germany. It was a huge success, and since then Hamburg has hosted queer dancers from around the globe at the annual Queer Tango Festival. In 2007 Stockholm hosted its first international queer tango festival, and the same year in November it was Buenos Aires´ turn. Queer tango has also spread to the Netherlands, England and the US. And now Tina Solveig would like to establish a queer tango milieu in Denmark. Therefore she asked World Outgames if they would like to create a festival, and the idea was well received by World Outgames.
In March 2008, Tina Solveig took part in arranging the first queer tango workshop weekend in Denmark, and it turned out to be a huge success. The queer tango weekend was followed by the event “Tivoli Goes Gay” as well as tango on Rådhuspladsen (the town hall square) last summer, and Tina Solveig noticed that the interest is growing.
“Queer tango has a broad target audience, and is an expression for a very open minded and accepting dancing environment, where everybody and all sexualities are welcome. Gay, transgender, bisexual, straight, men in dresses and female drag kings. We need a common space to accommodate the diversity in Denmark – and I would like to help creating this space. It is fantastic to be united around the dance. Who we are, and our sexuality becomes a minor detail. It is all about giving a diverse contribution to a dance which touches people’s hearts, and creates contact between people. Generally in the tango milieu, there are more female than male dancers, and therefore the women often “sit over”. Queer tango gives them the possibility to get more and better dancing experiences, since the can just dance with each other. I know two female couples who dance together because they are tired of sitting on the bench. They are participating in the Queer Tango Festival, and their goal is to become so good at it that all the skilled men will ask them to dance” Tina Solveig explains. “For me, queer tango means that you can dance with whoever you want, play the role you want, and do it in the way you want. There is room for diversity, and queer tango holds all possibilities”, Tina continues.
World Outgames – for you and for me
Tina Solveig thinks, that World Outgames will bring new thoughts into the LGBT community. All the volunteers who already work, or will be working with World Outgames in the coming time, will reflect on questions such as: What does the right to love the one I love mean? Why is there a human rights conference in connection with a sport event? Tina is ensured, that World Outgames will trigger a rising accept towards homosexuality, and maybe open up for new debates concerning equal rights, for example the question about adoption. World Outgames is simply contributing to a increased attention to gay rights.
“ I have a 26 year old bonus daughter, and she keeps a stack of postcards from World Outgames in her hallway. Whenever family or friends visit her, they get a card, and she has already recruited a number of volunteers in this way. It spreads like rings in the water – also beyond the LGBT community” Tina Solveig says.
Facts about Queer Tango Festival 2009
The festival is held in collaboration with World Outgames and Tango del Norte / Gunner Svendsen. It is held for six days during World Outgames. The festival will be the first queer tango festival ever in Denmark, and the largest in the world. There will be instruction every day, as well as milonga. Milonga is when you go out to dance tango. Th4e festival will have the worlds biggest milonga space on Islands Brygge, where the dancing takes place on the harbor quay. All participants receive a package containing six workshops, a number of milongas, as well as an opening and a closing party. At each milonga there will be a performance. There is a total of 60 workshops. In addition to these, there will also be yoga and pilates each day. You can register as a participant at www.copenhagen2009.org