Argentine Tango in Finland

The 11th World of Tango Festival in Tampere, 2017 (GeM Photo).

Finland has a lively Argentine tango scene that is constantly growing and this website is your introduction to it. Welcome to dance tango in Finland! Please use the red menu button in the upper right corner of the page to navigate the site.

Tango came to Finland in 1913. After the initial craze, it sank in popularity during the First World War in 1914-1918 and since then little information has survived about Argentine tango in Finland. Towards the end of the 1930s Finnish composers began to craft their own tangos which laid the ground for Finnish tango dance and music.

Argentine tango was discovered again at the end of the 1980s through tango music. Luis di Matteo performed in Helsinki in 1984 and Sata-Häme Soi International Accordion Festival hosted several famous tango artists in the 80s, 90s and 2000s: Osvaldo Pugliese’s orchestra twice in 1987 and 1989, Susana Rinaldi in 1988, Astor Piazzolla in 1990 and Juan Jose Mosalini in 2001. Finnish national public broadcasting company Yle’s program manager and musician Olli Hämäläinen publicized Argentine tango by producing radio programs and a TV documentary, “El Tango”, aired in 1982. Mario Zurinaga’s movie Tango Bar (1987) was shown in Finnish television in 1993 and contributed in part to people’s interest in Argentine tango.

The first people to teach Argentine tango dance again were Raili Laine and John Krook. Raili Laine brought the Argentine Oscar Prada Domecq from Stockholm Sweden to Tampere to teach regularly in 1992 and John Krook started teaching in Helsinki after taking lessons in Paris in 1992.

The stage tango spectacle Tango Pasión (Fans’ website) with its original cast members Omar Ocampo and Mónica Romero (“Los Ocampo“) have played a big part in disseminating Argentine tango in Finland. They gave their first tango dance workshop in Helsinki after the show’s first visit in 1996 and have been back to Finland several times since. Other tango shows that have visited Finland are Tango X2 Company’s Perfumes de Tango with Miguel Angel Zotto and Milena Plebs (1997 and 1998), Pablo Veron’s TanGhost (2006) and Mora Godoy‘s Amor Tango (2011). In 2011 the ninth Cumbre Mundial del Tango (The World Tango Summit) was arranged in Seinäjoki with performances by dancers Miguel Angel Zotto and Daiana Guspero and the poet Horacio Ferrer. Seinäjoki otherwise hosts, since 1985, Seinäjoen Tangomarkkinat, a large festival devoted to Finnish tango.

Through the years the Finnish tango associations have invited many of the world’s leading tango dancers and teachers – such as Carlos Perez and Rosa Forte, Javier Rodriguez and Noelia Barsi, Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes, Fabian Peralta and Josefina Bermudez, Cristina Sosa and Daniel Nacucchio, Diego “El Pajaro” Riemer and Maria Belen Giachello, Horacio Godoy and Magdalena Gutierrez, Pablo Rodriguez and Corina Herrera, and Fernando Sanchez and Ariadna Naveira, to name some – to perform, inspire and give workshops.

Some teachers who have contributed substantially to the propagation of Argentine tango in Finland are Raili LaineJohn Krook, Nina Krook and Hanna KorpelaMaija Matikainen and Pertti Wessman, Arto & KirsiTomas & Erita, and Pasi and Maria Lauren. Turku-based dancer and blogger Christer Jansén has documented Argentine tango in Finland extensively in his blog, mostly in Finnish. Journalist Telle Virtanen has documented both Argentine and Finnish tango in her Finnish “bookazine” Tangon tarina, published in 2019.

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The purpose of this website is to provide a non-commercial introduction to the Argentine tango culture in Finland. The website is authored by Henrik Helin and last updated 14.3.2020. Please write to (where username is “milongafinland”) to contact the author.