MEET THE LOCALS
The Instructors Edition, Part One
By Petra Gimbad
To celebrate the KL Tango Festival’s 11th year and introduce participants to the Malaysian tango community, we have subjected the instructor below to the TANGO HOT SEAT.
Name: Christopher Gan a.k.a. Christo
Where and when do you teach?
FAME Studio Malaysia
43B, Jalan Desa Bakti, Off Old Klang Road,
Taman Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur, KL
Every Thursday, 8pm-10pm & every Saturday, 3pm-5pm
How do we contact you?
Please refer to:
Describe yourself as a tango instructor, in five words.
Passionate – about sharing the passion!
Best tango moment:
There are so many great moments. A more recent one would be a tango theatre show performance that I performed with international artists in Bangkok, Thailand.
Worst tango moment:
During my early years of Tango, there was a senior follower who would nag me during the Milonga. I almost quit because of this. Andreas Lehrke, who was my teacher at the time, stepped up and shouted, “Can you shut your mouth and just dance, he just a beginner and still learning!!”
What keeps you going?
Seeing “non-dancers” attend class with two left feet, and watching their progress to elegant dancing. This gives me the motivation to continue.
What made your best tanda, special?
Right ambience + Right moment and mood + Right Person + Right DJ = Great Tanda!!
Your dream tanda: what would the songs be?
I am a dynamic dancer. Therefore, my favourite set would be all Osvaldo Pugliese:
Nada Mas Que Un Corazon (1944)
Raza Criolla (1945)
The truth: do you have a life outside of tango? What do you do? (work, hobbies)
I run a business in the daytime. Apart from Tango, I love playing basketball.
Do you dance/listen to music from any other genres, apart from tango?
Depending on mood, I listen to different genres on music. However, I only dance tango – there is no room for any other dance at this stage in my life.
Maestros and maestras we should follow:
Following a variety of maestros and maestras provides the dancer opportunities to learn from their best. I believe that this will makes the tango journey more complete. You get to form your own style of dancing.
Should we support the KLTF? What are your hopes for the Malaysian tango community?
I attended the first KLTF 11 years ago, and it inspired me to start my tango journey ever since. We now have opportunities to participate in numerous tango festivals around the region. However, I believe our KLTF has an important role as a gathering point. Additionally, I think the KLTF has the friendliest atmosphere for tango newcomers experiencing a tango festival for the first time. I hope all tango teachers, organizers, DJs and artists in Malaysia continue their good work in tango. Never give up, because it is this sacrifice that will bring our Malaysian tango community to a higher level, both in quality and quantity.
If tango were an animal, what would it be?
I choose the phoenix, a mythical bird from Greek and Roman legend. The phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated and born again. The phoenix is apt given the development of tango culture: from its earliest stages, to worldwide success before and after the First World War, to its Golden Age from the mid-1930’s until the coup in Argentina in 1955, and then to the dark ages of Tango when the dance was pushed underground and prosecuted. Tango experienced all of this before the fabulous tango renaissance that rose and spread tango culture once again throughout the world.