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- Offstage with the Dancers

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By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
Originally Published on

Every first of the month, as most New Yorkers turn to mundane financial and scheduling issues, the New York Tangueros turn to Carlos Quiroga and Pamela Saichann, Editors of ReporTango Magazine and Tangueros search ReporTango Photo Gallery, to see who was spotted, where, and search the current and sophisticated features and advertisements, which are 'Au Courant' and quite enticing. Carlos Quiroga and Pamela Saichann, a loving couple and the face of New York Tango, have been interviewing musicians, performers, teachers, and Tangueros, as well as writing about beloved Tango orchestras and singers, for almost two years. Finally, Carlos and Pamela, two dynamic Argentineans, who are leaving an indelible stamp of journalistic success on the New York Tango scene, are, this time, the subjects of this inside perspective.

July 9, 2002, Starbuck's, with Carlos Quiroga and Pamela Saichann.

REZ - As the man about town, the face of Tango, tell me about your early Tango experiences?

CQ - I was raised in La Plata, Argentina, and moved to Buenos Aires in the 1990's to study for a journalism degree. My entire family was involved in Tango, including my sister, Guillermina (famed Tango Performer), and my mother, a social Milonguera. I used to go to the Milongas with my mother and sister and took some Tango lessons from Mingo Pugliese (father of NY Tango performer, Pablo Pugliese). We danced with the Pugliese family.

REZ - To which live orchestras did you dance?

CQ - During that period, we danced mostly to recorded music. Sometimes I was a Master of Ceremonies at a restaurant for Alberto Castello's Orchestra and his singers. I also worked with (Carlos) Gavito (famed Tango Performer and Impresario) and Eduardo Arquimbau at La Galeria del Tango.

PS - For me, when I met Carlos, I met Tango. My parents and grandparents did not dance Tango, but my father loved to listen to Carlos Gardel's songs. The Argentineans, during the 1960's to the 1980's, were not frequently dancing Tango.

REZ - How did you both originally meet?

PS - We met about six years ago on a TV Channel, Red de Noticias, which was an all news station. When the Channel was cancelled, we were young and had money. We took a three-month vacation in December, 1998, to New York, stayed in Guillermina's apartment, and loved being here. We returned in September, 1999, to live here.

REZ - Tell me about the birth of ReporTango.

PS - The magazine started entering our thoughts in September, 2000. Carlos was working as a Tango DJ on the Radio and at Milongas. We were congregating with Argentinean dancers. Everybody asked us to create a calendar of Tango events. We kept writing down the schedules for our friends. Finally, we thought of creating a magazine for everybody, with news and information about Tango.

CQ - The first issue was in December, 2000. I had absolutely no graphic experience. In the past one and one-half years, we developed our baby. When the first issue of ReporTango was published, we slept with it in our bed. We were so proud of it. The first issue was black and white, with a Web issue in color. We had enough ads, from the beginning, to carry every issue. We wanted this magazine to be free for the Tango community.

REZ - What has been the most difficult challenge in publishing ReporTango?

PS — Dealing with the printer can be very difficult. We did a great Valentine interview with Diego and Carolina in February, 2002. Then there were terrible problems with the ink. Now we have a new printing company, and the Photo Gallery is in color, too.

REZ - How many issues did you first print, and how many do you print, now?

CQ - In December, 2000, we printed 2000 issues. Now we print 5000, and we keep 100 for special order back copies.

REZ - Who are the subscribers?

CQ - They're from all over the country, 50% from New York. We even mail issues to Europe and Japan. Soon Web access will be by subscription, only. People will have to order back issues, too. Now, instead of a full Web issue, people can contact to see the Cover Page and subscribe to the Magazine.

REZ - I've been very impressed with the level of sophistication of the magazine.

PS - Carlos is photographer, editor, designer, journalist, and I am a writer, layout person, and collaborator. My father, Alberto Saichann, in Argentina, is the graphic artist and cartoonist. Anne Sas and Sebastian Sas are translators and participate in the interviews.

REZ - How much time, in advance, do you need to plan the main interviews?

PS - We take advantage, when the artists are in town. We try to keep each month's issue on a special theme, and the interview plays into the theme. We're also working, now, with Martin Villa, a professional photographer, who's helping us with special photos.

REZ - I used to love to dance at your restaurant Milongas.

PS - They were wonderful, but financially difficult. We still work at the Sunday night Milongas at DanceSport, called El Recodo.

REZ - When you are the DJ at these Milongas, you always play such lovely and diverse dance music. Who is your favorite musician?

CQ - I love the music of the forties, like the Orchestra de Mare, with the singer, Raul Beron. Also, I used to experiment with alternative Tango and some Ballroom music at weddings, when I worked privately as a DJ. I apply the same concept to my current DJ work, and now everybody loves the music of the Gotan Project, a French/Argentinean group. In fact, coincidentally, there's even a TV commercial with one of the two songs I play, 'Santa Maria' and 'Una Musica Brutal'.

REZ - How did you discover the Turkish Tango (CD)?

CQ - I first heard the music when I worked with Jak Karako, of Baila Tango, at his Milongas. Now I create a whole set, at each week's Milonga, with this and other alternative Tangos. I also try to get Hustle music from Argentinean disco collections, but there are no Salsa Bands there. I like a mix of old and new Tangos.

REZ - When you are home, what types of music do you most enjoy?

PS - I love Argentinean Rock, which has more to do with homesickness than taste.

REZ - Is there a reason that you play so little Piazzolla?

CQ - Sometimes I play Piazzolla, but you don't know it. I play his early Quintets and Sextets, the Classical style.

REZ - What are your future plans?

PS - We have many new projects, regarding ReporTango, and we would like to organize special Tango events.

REZ - Thank you so much.

PS - I want to say something else. One of the best things about being in New York is that we have made so many new friends. If it were not for these new friends, we would not have this new lifestyle and career.

Carlos Queroga and Pamela Saichann dancing Tango

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at