The Zero Hour Tango Festival is back, with concerts in the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, late night milonga sessions at the Lodge upstairs on the NE corner of 6th and Walnut, and a variety of talks and workshops.
To talk about the festival, WFIU spoke with Indiana University SPEA professor, musician and producer Alfredo Minetti. Minetta describes himself as born in Uruguay and raised in Brazil. He has lived in Argentina and the U.S.
A Multicultural Phenomenon
“Like the tango, I’m a transient. Tango is one of those wonderful cultural phenomena that can only be explained through looking at the history of people moving through the world. Obviously they end up in Argentina at some point, but it’s the mix of Italians, Spanish, Polish, and people from all over Europe that has created this fabulous way to see the world.”
What’s In A Name?
“We named the festival ‘Zero Hour’ because tango is more than music, than dance, than the poetry, the visual elements. It’s a whole way to see the world. In literature, ‘zero hour’ refers to midnight. It’s a mystery and a message of hope, of a new beginning. And that’s something that appears in many compositions.”
“Tango festivals are quite common around the United States and around the world. But what seldom happens is what’s happening here. They are usually about dance and perhaps a bit about music. What I’m trying to do this time is to put it all together: music, dance, poetry, visual elements, even a bit of music and drink. We’ll have all the elements with none slighted.”
“In addition to being a scholar and producer, I’m also a band leader. My group Tangamente is a six piece ensemble, with singer, that explores tango from the earliest to the latest forms. We’ll be playing at the late evening milonga parties following both Friday and Saturday’s concerts.”