Canyengue @ BASH!


Myk & Ann will be leading an introductory Canyengue workshop at Buenos Aires In The Southern Highlands, Bundanoon, 25 to 27 November.

We’ll be looking at the rhythm,¬† the embrace, and the basic technique, for leaders and followers.

Come and find out how to really dance to those earlier Canaro and Firpo tandas ūüôā

Saturday morning, at BASH 2016.

New Workshop Series Starting

The next four-week block of regular Canyengue lessons and practicas with Myk and Ann is sCanyengue Feet 2tarting this week ūüôā

When: Thursday 26 May 2016

Time: from 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Venue: The Studio at 135 Duffy Street, Ainslie, ACT.

Further details:, or @ Canyengue Nuevo on Facebook

Introductory Workshop coming up!

Myk & Ann 1

Myk and Ann are presenting a 1-hour introductory ‘taster’ of Canyengue

At Corazon Studio –

  • Venue: First Floor, Sydney Building, 54 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, Australia
  • Date:¬†¬†¬† This Sunday, 15 May 2016
  • Time:¬†¬†¬† 3:00pm to 4:00pm, followed by tango & canyengue practica for 2 hours

This workshop will cover all the basics of the embrace, the music, the enganche step, and leading and following. Canyengue music will be included in the following practica so you can practice what you have learnt.

It’s an ideal way to get a ‘taste’ for canyengue!

Why Canyengue?

Music for Canyengue is played at most milongas, but many can only tango to it.

Canyengue with Gardel

  • Learning it widens the range of options available to you at a milonga.
  • It does not require dance shoes, special clothes or a dedicated dance floor – it can be danced anywhere, indoors and out.
  • This intimate dance is a precursor to tango, and learning it provides insights into modern tango.
  • Most importantly, it is an engaging dance in its own right – playful, exhilarating, and¬† connected.

Origins of Canyengue

Fun with CanyengueThe original canyengue (Kan-zh√©ng-ay) was a dance popular in the suburban districts of Buenos Aires from around 1900, and perhaps as early as the 1880s. In Lunfardo (Buenos Aires slang) the word implies ‘rough’, ‘of low social standing’[i], but this meaning may be derived from previous usage. It may have originally come from a dance call in Ki-Kongo, an Afro-American language of Buenos Aires at the time: kanienge is a call to “Melt into the music!”[ii]. “Rhythmical walking”[iii] is Marta Anton’s translation, or it may mean “lilting walk”[iv] .

Whatever the origin of the name, the precise mix of European, African and Argentine influences and social circumstances that drove the evolution of the dance is now lost, but it co-existed with other couple dances such as milonga and tango liso that emerged in the same milieu. These dances are important precursors to tango as it is known today.

[i] (Gobello & Oliveri 2014)

[ii] (Thomson 2010)

[iii] cited in Thomson (2010)

[iv] (Saba 2010)


Gobello J & Oliveri, MH 2014, Novísimo diccionario lunfardo, Corregidor, Buenos Aires, AR.

Sab√°, B 2010, New Glossary of Tango Dance, Abrazos, Buenos Aires, AR.

Thomson, RF 2010, Tango: the art history of love, Doubleday, NY.

Canyengue in Canberra

Coming soon to Canberra…

…a regular Canyengue event for those who wish to learn or practice Canyengue.

Canyengue is a a low-impact couples dance that is an early precursor to Argentine Tango. Danced since the 1900s and perhaps as early as the 1890s, it languished from the 1930s onwards, but has been revived since the 1980s and this playful, improvised dance has now regained much of the popularity it enjoyed a century earlier.

Regular lessons and practice will be offered from 7:30 to 9:30pm on Thursdays in blocks of 4 weeks. A half-hour extension class will start from 7.30, followed by a half hour of fundamental techniques from 8:00. From 8:30 there will be a one-hour practica, offering canyengue dancing  to a variety of music in a social atmosphere.

  • Leading this event are Ann Smith and Myk Dowling: Ann attended workshops in Canyengue with “El Gallego” Manolo and Marta Anton in Buenos Aires in 2009, and performed at Launceston’s Festivale in 2011. She has developed her understanding of the dance most recently with Myk over 2 months in Buenos Aires in 2015, this time with Manolo and Nelson. Myk and Ann led an introductory workshop on Canyengue in 2015 and presented a solo Canyengue dance as part of the Tango Social Club of Canberra’s demonstration at the National Folk Festival 2016.

Interested? Email Ann –

Canyengue in Buenos Aires

Marta y Manolo 2* MANOLO (“El Gallego”)

Sadly, his wife Marta has died but, together with his friend Nelson, the legendary Manolo is continuing to promote the revival of Canyengue.

SATURDAYS: 13:00-14:30: Centro Cultural Borges, top floor of Gallerias Pacifico , Salon 3 of the Tango Esquela. These lessons are at a set price payable to the Esquela.

MONDAYS: 20:00-22:00: Junin 143, Balvanera. This assisted practica conducted by Manolo and his assistants is run on the basis of donations (consider around 50 pesos per person). Enquiries: 4657-8781 or 15-5920-0945.

THURSDAY: 20:22:00: General Hornos 238, Barracas. Again, this assisted practica is run on the basis of donations of around 50 pesos per person.


Laura Collavini 1* LAURA COLLAVINI is also demonstratingand teaching.

She provides  a different perspective, excellent teaching technique, and a valuable role model for followers:


p: (Argentina) 15-6258-1329;