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"Abrazando el tango", Embracing Tango, the Tinkers, Uruguay

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From Matias Haber the Apr 15, 2014

After the first classrooms given to people with Down's syndrome in Austria, "Los Tinkers" contacted the Association 'Uruguay Down' to follow up on the experience on the other side of the Ocean: dancing Tango, networking, promoting inclusion and showcasing capabilities.

A project that gave another tack to the lives of Matias and Andrea

3 years ago Andrea, professional dancer and Matias, singer in the opera, lived in Vienna and were couples of Tango dance. It was then that the company "I dance Company", formed by professional artists with Down's syndrome, called Andrea as a professional tango. In fact they wanted to add the Tango to its activities and found out who taught in Vienna.  Andrea accepted and invited his partner to accompany and assist her. Until then, na had worked with people with Down syndrome and they were making the experience of zero. For them, it was a wonderful experience, which no doubt changed life.

Abrazando el tango, baileOf made, shortly after everyone was leaving his practice focuses and back in Uruguay, decided to deepen the experience. So they made contact with the Down Association of the Uruguay to give Tango lessons to people with Down syndrome and engaged in the creation of a Tango festival with activities for inclusion. However, institutions of the Down Association of Uruguay are not so unique with the theme of Down's syndrome, kids with SD also gather other types of disabilities: autism, mental retardation, neurological or psychological, so Matias and Andrea have learned to work well with people who have other types of disability.

Teach the bases of Tango and bring benefits for all

The activities proposed by the "Tinkers" consist of two parts: tango classes organized for people with SD and the annual 'Tango in Punta' open festival for everyone, with a party of inclusion. Main thing is the guys participating classes already have the base to meet in a milonga. He is not much for them to learn master steps or pirouettes, but make the experience how is hugging and walking, share music, that is: dancing the tango.

Beyond the fact of dancing tango, there are other benefits generated by the project. These benefits may be therapeutic: for example the Tango can be a good exercise for example children with autism learn to relate. At the level of society, the Organization of the festival allows in particular encompass the theme of inclusion and publicize the potential of people with Down's syndrome. For boys, the festival also serves as a platform of inclusion "within the inclusion" where Andrea and Matias students coming from various parts of the country come to be.

Historical development of activities

After first school which gave people with SD in Austria, "Tinkers" contacted the Association 'Uruguay Down' to follow up on the experience of the other side of the ocean. In this way, they began to give classes on the premises of the Association in Montevideo and Punta del Este. The following year they went all over the country visiting the premises of the Association on the inside to give continuity to the project.  In each of the places, they were for a whole week to implement an intensive course of 1 hour and a half or two hours per day. In fact this experience enabled them to a prize awarded by the Ministry of culture.

At the same time, the "Tango in Punta" festival was organized in Punta del Este, which takes place from 3 years ago. This festival is intended for all persons interested in the Tango, and contains a special orientation towards inclusion. In fact, the festival offers, separate das inclusion, a milonga in inclusion classrooms. So this year 2014 they closed the East point Street and were dancing in the street. In addition, it had on this street a display to display photos taken the previous year, during the first edition of the festival "Tango in tip" that took place in Austria, in the city of Bregenz. In such a way that people saw the photos and live the participants dancing together in the street. During this Edition, was also organized in the theatre an exhibition about the tango and the inclusion, to which all the artists and teachers present at the festival were added.  To sum up, the heart of the project of the Tinkers is the Organization of a festival of Tango in Uruguay in the first months of the year and the other in Austria in September. During the months preceding dan inclusion classes and then the festival operates as a platform of meeting for students. In Austria the classrooms are coordinated with the Association "Lebenshilfe", you present in different locations in the country.Sala de espectaculo

The project is also begun to spread to other countries and to become increasingly international: last year appeared proposed to teach in Entre Ríos (Argentina), as well as in Germany and Switzerland. For March 21, international day of Down syndrome - T21, a milonga for inclusion with the guys in Montevideo is planned.


Implementation: media and materials

For now, the project is led by its two creators: Matias and Andrea. Two of them are that give classrooms, also organizing all the business part of the festival, which includes logistics, marketing and administration. Carry this part out through their association 'Tinkers', which was created both in Austria and Uruguay. Seeing the growth of the project and the amount of work which includes the Organization of a festival, it would be good to have funds to have an employee who would assist in the administrative part. For now, they are only helping people who help in this logistical part.

'The Tinkers' Association does not have a physical place to. Matias and Andrea coordinate with each organization such as availability and going to places. The classrooms are given in institutions and in the street. The only fixed place is the festival. To finance their activities, it boasts auspices by the Government (Ministry of education and culture, tourism, differential policies) and a system of sponsorship within the festival, which still seeks to assemble a good folder. So are the classrooms of inclusion, they are given by grace. Clear if an offer, an assembled budget, does not reject it is. But in fact the activities for inclusion in the festival are free. The principle being that other activities allow to finance this part. Matias and Andrea see it as an investment of energy and valuable knowledge.

A happy experience, a treasure

Andrea and Matthias were making the experience of zero, ceased its activities and this wonderful experience changed you life. It is impressive to see that all that already resulted in the Organization of three editions of the festival 'Tango in Punta' in Uruguay and one in Austria (with the next in September). Today they are pleasantly surprised by what has happened. As clear the Organization of the festival costs them a lot of energy, also has difficult parts (including everything that is outside of the artistic part).  But they feel happy, full of optimism and eager, it seems that this project still has a lot of prospects for the future. From time to time, Matias and Andrea is told: "That cute what they do to these guys!". But for them the things are reversed: consider that they receive much more than Dan, and see it as a treasure.

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