Project Detail: Tango in the time of Covid, to paraphrase Marquez


IBSA Foundation Covid19 Resilience




Tiziana Verbitz



Project Info

Tango in the time of Covid, to paraphrase Marquez

COVID-19 came down like an axe on everyone. Among all workers, however, there are those who never closed, like certain stores, and those who were able to work intermittently. Then there are "them," the workers in culture, art, entertainment, cut off from everything. Closed, armored, little and late economic aid. How to reinvent themselves, how to survive and stay afloat, hoping to "make it"? The story of Mara and Michele is one of these stories.

Few are those who can achieve excellence in their work and daily chores. Mara and Michele are among those few: a great passion – that for tango – has become a subject of in-depth study and a profession.Udine, Italy. An old motors factory from the ‘30s has been transformed into a cultural club, where people can study, learn, practise the milonga, play music, listen to concerts and meet. It has become a school, an orchestra, a lively and vital place. The pandemic spelled death … Mara and Michele, who are not a couple in life, suddenly found themselves cut off from any possibility of pursuing their career and only with the initial relaxation of restrictions did the club become their home and residence. There I witnessed their suffering, their tears, their resistance, their fighting spirit. Against all odds they created something: the occasional online lesson on the history of tango, on the great musicians, the great orchestras, the great dancers. Interests for the connoisseurs not the general public: efforts at survival. Some clandestine lessons for the trusted few, and then the quotidian, just enough to retain hold of normality, to remain connected with that reality which a few months back had seemed a certainty, a sacrosanct right: to practise tango, to keep fit, to have a bite, to meet some friends who surreptitiously pass by to have a chat … a game of chess ... testimony to the thoughts and support of many