First we have to remember that a Milonga is a place for dancers to dance and have fun in a social context. Milongas in BsAs are very formal and sometimes frozen in tradition, so typically they are crowded and the dancing style has been adjusted to this fact, so for example, everybody is doing close embrace tango for limited space and music is typically limited to golden age tangos.
Internationally, Milongas may be more free, so there may be tandas of modern tango and even Tango Nuevo. There are also tandas of modern style music (NonTango) or even Salsa and Chacarera. In the big cities like Berlin or Munich, there are also special events for Neotango Music. Such events follow their own rules. Here is a list of things you may expect at a Milonga Nueva:
Some DJs stick to the traditional tanda system, some not. There may even be a system completely without a cortina.
In normal milongas songs are played to the very end and a typical break of some seconds separates the different songs. This is mainly due to the dancers, who want to end a tango in a last embrace and reconnect again for the next song. In Nuevo style milongas, the DJ may mix songs, i.e. connect them without break.
In Milonga Nueva, the typical distribution of 80% Golden Age and 20% modern tango is reversed. You may expect 80% Tango Nuevo and 20% Golden Age Tango. Tandas of Chacarera, Salsa and any popular dancestyle may be included. Modern Tango may be anything between Zitarrosa and Tango Electronico, so please be open minded and enjoy. The DJ will try to serve a broad variety.
4. Dress to the music
OK, in a formal milonga dancers do not have to wear pinstripes (unless they want to) any more, but in a milonga nueva, we might expect a more casual style of clothing.
5. Dance style
Typically organizers of modern nueva milongas try to organize for a lot of space on the dancefloor to allow open embrace tango and modern style dancing. But you are free to do any tango style you want. But…. – if even a modern milonga gets crowded, please be polite and adjust your dancing to the dancefloor. So clean the airspace and avoid high boleos and other dangerous stuff.
6. Have fun
During all these discussion, what is the right or wrong style in tango, please never forget what dancing is all about – having fun !
P.S.: Milonga “Nuevo” in Cairns during the Cairns (Tango) Festival on 7th September 2014, with DJ Ricardo 🙂