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Tango in lockdown: The tango effect

The Tango Effect: Parkinson’s and the Healing Power of Dance explores the remarkable impact of Argentine tango on the experience of living with Parkinson’s. The book was published during the COVID-19 pandemic, shortly after the country went into lockdown.

Below, we are pleased to share recordings with you that were made by the author, Kate Swindlehurst, from March - July 2020.

“The months that followed, strange for all of us and fraught with challenge and grief for many, were thrown into sharp relief for me by the month-by-month structure of The Tango Effect. I thought it might be interesting to share extracts from the book for the key months of the crisis: a kind of Tango Lockdown Story.”

Please note: these recording are available to both People Dancing Members AND non-members and will be published weekly from 26 August 2020.

Photography: John Connatty

The Tango Effect: Parkinson’s and the Healing Power of Dance

Available to buy from all good bookshops and Waterstones

Here, we are pleased to share with you an introductory recording that was made by the author, Kate Swindlehurst: TANGO IN LOCKDOWN: AN INTRODUCTION.
In this extract, TANGO IN LOCKDOWN: MARCH the author has returned to tango after a long gap to prepare for a trip to Argentina and describes a one-to-one lesson with teacher John Connatty.
TANGO IN LOCKDOWN: APRIL. Publication Day. In the new normal of enforced social isolation, the book launch and tango celebrations are cancelled as we follow the government mantra ‘stay at home’. By contrast, in the chronology of The Tango Effect, the author has arrived in Buenos Aires. Here, she reads the first of a series of ‘postcards’ home.
TANGO IN LOCKDOWN: MAY. After months of social isolation, the government encourages ‘unlimited amounts’ of outdoor exercise. Inside, Kate practises a little Argentine tango every day but without a partner it’s a challenge. In this extract she reads the start of the chapter for May, a reminder of the transformation that dancing can create. 


TANGO IN LOCKDOWN: JUNE. By now the government’s handling of the crisis is coming under increasing criticism. Fears for the economy, jobs, the arts, sport, the hospitality sector grow. On an individual level, Kate particularly misses the intimacy of Argentine tango. Here she reads a short extract from the chapter for June and then skips to September in search of the essence of the tango magic. 


TANGO IN LOCKDOWN: JULY. Although this month brings an easing of the lockdown, the return of dance is still some way off. Kate draws comfort from a new initiative, a weekly online exploration of tango music recorded in a particular year. And she returns to the chapter for July for a taste of the special qualities of tango music.