SEMINAR 13 Y 14 MAY 2011

"Body as a therapeutic tool"






At the end of last year we shared with street children, a party.

They have between 7 to17 years old.

Their links are broken, they are marginalized, tango pulled them togeather for one night.






Psicotango Book at "Confiteria La Ideal"




1º International Congress of Tangotherapy
July 17, 18 and 19 - 2008 Rosario City, Argentina.







Dissertation "Psicotango Workshops"

We would like to share with you the work that we have been carrying out since 2002. The Dinzel Group has been working and researching, in theory and practice, the effects of tango dance on health for over twenty years. Rodolfo Dinzel is a renowned dancer, a member of the show " Argentine Tango ", and nowadays is in charge of the dance department at the University of Tango. He also created the Foundation Argentine Tango and in that capacity he has promoted the tango dance in public schools and places dedicated to special education.

We have carried out studies on a voluntary basis since 2004 in Hospital Alvear of Psychiatric Emergencies and in the Hospital Tornu Gral. de Agudos, both in the city of Buenos Aires, in the Teenagers' and Palliative Care wards respectively. We also worked with older patients with Parkinson's Syndrome in the Hospital of Clinics of the City of Buenos Aires.

The team is composed of psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical physicians, a music therapist, a dance therapist and teachers of tango. It carried out practical workshops aimed at alleviating the suffering of patients and relatives with the tango as a link between the body and lived experience.

The aim is to focus on waking the motivation in an expressive activity tied to the sociocultural sphere, towards social integration. The movement carried out in the dance stimulates the fitness of the body.
The task requires that the patient locate and use those parts that could be afflicted by his or her symptoms.
It thereby achieves that some of the symptoms stop their effects on patients thereby relieving his or her suffering. For example, on the terminal patients it is observed that the tango facilitates the process of the grieving and wakes up the body and sensual sensations, on a person who practically does not have a body.
In these meetings a festive climate is always achieved, paradoxically, in a context of loss.

On the psychotic patients it possesses equal influence, bringing memory to a fragmented body.
The experience with teenagers with this pathology showed us that the personal special
arrangement for the meetings, as the cessation of flower-image symptoms (hallucinations, etc.),
have a direct relation with the moment of the commitment to the dance.

Also an institutional impact is observed, bringing together spontaneously, through the
coordinator in charge, medical professionals, psychologists, nurses and patients' helpers,
in a single bond to the 2x4 beat.

We want to specify that when we worked with the Tango in palliative care, it was with
people who were dying of cancer ... that were getting out of the bed so as not to hear
the arrival of their own deaths.
When Dinzel encourages us to research the dance of the tango he asks for the "why" ;
why does it have a therapeutic effects?
True, we are born to die. But we take something inside our psyche, called Libido, as
explained by Freud, that fights for life. We suppress this energy or believe it has to be
used only in the few moments of the sexual relation.

Nevertheless this Libido always accompanies us, and when suppressed, it expresses
itself in the body as disease.
We believe that dancing tango, through the embrace and the proximity of the bodies, liberates this energy and allows us to sublimate it with an immediate benefit of happiness and recovery of health.
These are very deep topics and this space allows us only a rapid sketch of the pillars that support our theory, the basis for the method PSICOTANGO that we have come to present.
We begin our presentation with play … showing one of the exercises of the many that we have done in our Meetings.
The children play responsibly, like the couples that are dancing.

The tango was born as A GAME of improvisation, of skill and we must return to it because the game, as such a permeable area of our unconscious, allows us to liberate the libido that connects us with life.
Another pillar of our theory is that the tango is more than a couple dance. THE TANGO IS A GROUP DANCE.

We believe that it is A DIALOG between two bodies that dance.
We protect the rituals of THE CEREMONY of the milonga because since ancestral times people protected themselves from their fears dancing in circles, with special music, and clothes just for the occasion.

The cabaceo (the man's invitation using a characteristic nod) is structuring. Since Lacan we know that the mother structures, creates the image of her child with the look.
We must be prepared to participate in the ceremony since there, like during mass, every gesture carries meaning and is significant.
If we support the rituals we assure ourselves the energy that radiates from the group and the mandala on the dance floor.

Walking counter-clockwise … we aim to exorcize death, to stop time.
Every element of the dance is analyzed by us looking for "why", convinced that the better
we know this subject of study, that is the tango dance, the better we will be able to understand the benefits.

Take, for example the shoes, that fetish element that allows us, on having entered
The Ceremony, to change our role and transform ourselves into Milongueros/as,
that breed that allows us to rescue such Woman or Man who is ready to share an
embrace sometimes without knowing the other.

The Embrace sends us to the first one, that one of the Primary Relationship with Mom,
the embrace that we had, that shelters us and we want to find again, or that was
denied and that we continue to search for. Sometimes I think that the Japanese cross
the world and come to Buenos Aires thirsty for this very embrace.

PSICOTANGO was born as a work of exploratory research but, little by little, it became
a method and later we felt we must show this with others.

We work at the Organization of Meetings and Seminars to develop exercises that show
in practice what we maintain from the theory.

The Meetings are held once a week without regard for the level of tango. Those who do not dance slowly will be doing it with much containment and they will discover what their bodies say and also will learn to listen to the others. The teachers will have new elements so that their classes are more than just transmission of dance technique.

We invite you to share a Workshop where these concepts will be taking place.
you will see how we divide the Meetings in 4 periods: Opening minutes to explain a bit the theory of what we are going to develop on that day; Warm Up, with relaxation exercises to tango music and building awareness of areas that we will use to dance; Task, where through improvisation exercises we will learn the language of the dance; Closing, with stretching and directed visualizations in a circle, where we sit down and share our experiences.
We hope to see you!

Psicotango's second Seminar 2007
In the last weekend of July, the Second Seminar of Psicotango took place, full of
intense activity. The seminar drew together a diverse group of professionals, including
psychologists, tango teachers, and music teachers. This heterogeneous group came
together with the common goal of nurturing the soul of the tango. The seminar was
profound and significant.

Psicotango's meetings 2007
These meetings took place at The Casona of the Abasto, from May 9 until June 20.
There were seven Meetings in all were we worked several concepts:
The Individual - The Couple - The group - Integration - To give and To receive -
Confidence and desire.

Psicotango's meetings 2006
These took place during July / October, 2006 in a house on The Abasto, tango
neighbourhood, at Buenos Aires Capital. The participants there ranged between 8/10
persons of both sexes were beginners of Tango.

Psicotango's Seminar for Professionals in December, 2006
The seminar took place at The Casona, in the city of Buenos Aires, in December, 2006,
Friday 1, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3.
Twelve people from different countries, professionals of tango and psychologists attended.
The course was theoretical as well as practical. Most of the expectations were fulfilled.

Psicotango's seminar in Switzerland January, 2007
Last summer (winter in Europe) 2007, we held a Psicotango meeting during two days at Friburgo's medieval city in Switzerland.
This is the first time that the Psicotango seminar has taken place abroad, and it was met with great success with participants coming from all over the country, meeting in the tango embrace in this neutral country.

Public hospitals and other welfare spaces
Tango-Dance experiences took place in 2004 at "Torcuato de Alvear" Hospital of Psychiatric
Emergencies, and at "Enrique Tornu" Hospital, Adolescent Service and Palliative Cares
Service, respectively, both located at the City of Buenos Aires.
The team consisted of psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical doctors, music-therapist and
dance-therapist who carried out operative Workshops, which aim to relieve the suffering
of patients and relatives with the Tango as a link between corporal and existential

Tango - dance in Public Hospitals and other welfare spaces
In 2004 we imposed tango on the public hospital context, making possible, among
other things, the return to the community something that it had always owned.
The workshop took place in the Service of Adolescence of the Hospital for Psychiatric
Emergencies T. de Alvear., Bs As. Argentina, was coordinated by the Lic. Ignacio
Lavalle Cobo and the teacher of Tango Lysandra Ozino Caligaris, with the cooperation
of the therapeutic accompanist Natalia Schmeil and the supervision of the Dr. Norberto
Buchsbaum, and Dr. Eduardo Garin. It workshop was attended by patients of the service
as well as by professional staff. Currently they occur once a month.
The workshop's central aim is to stimulate interest in and motivation to participate in
corporal and expressive activity, which in turn stimulate interest in greater socio-cultural
integration. The dance movement stimulates the posture, requiring the individual to locate
and integrate those parts that could be afflicted by his or her disease.
The symptoms are alleviated to some extent relieving the patient's suffering: "when I
dance tango, I do not listen to voices" said a patient, R, who constantly heard voices
that asked him to kill himself.

Full body contact offers the possibility of mutual recognition, and a link with socio-historic-cultural
aspects, like an immersion in the tradition of folklore. The aspect of cultural link allows the
patient the possibility of physically connecting with one another and even to reach into the
patient's daily activities in the outside world: "teacher; the other day I fought to take
classes in a cultural centre of the neighbourhood" a patient informing us, M., with antisocial problems. In subsequent weeks, she began to take tango classes in the hospital context.
Tango-Dance stimulates: body coordination, temporo-spatial organization and attention mechanisms; to detect the stimuli - to decode them; stimulates the memory of work, the processing of the information, planning and anticipation.
Dance provokes verbal and physical group communication. It develops social skills and links the dancer with his or her partner. Tango restores relationships and offers tools for dancers to use in their future integration into community activities. Tango-Dance also foments self-assurance through creativity.
The Embrace provides an excellent opportunity for companions to gather together.
These characteristics related to the body, memory and the group, are obtained through short-term and long-term combined psychiatric treatment. The tango has the ability to amplify the benefits of the psychiatric treatments.
On the other hand we obtained experience, in 2004, at the Tornú Hospital, service of Palliative Cares (PC), Bs. As. Argentina. The workshop was coordinated by Lic. Ignacio Lavalle Cobo and MTP Luz Castiñeiras, the teachers Marisa Carratini and Guillermo Lugrin, with the direction of the Dr. Mariela Bertolino.
The aims and achievements in this setting are identical to the ones sought at the Alvear Hospital, but in this case in the context of processing loss, focusing on the care of chronically ill patients. The space integrates both patients and professionals, and also includes relatives and partners of the patients.
We submit that the tango is both memory and affection, indelibly etched on the soul, uniting love and pain in one common voice.
Different techniques are used. For example, a certain patient will be associated with
a certain tango song or orchestra, so that when he or she dies, dancing that tango
becomes an emotional catharsis, a way of remembering through emotion and movement.
This process is repeated with every person who joins the group, producing identification
and a feeling of belonging, with roots in a shared culture.
From here we feel and observe the capacity to process loss through playing with the
body and identifying a melody or phrase associated with a loved one. The results are:
families of the people who have past away are able to form new links with the people
from the group where the activities takes place as well as outside at milongas.
We know of a patient, G., who met his partner at a milonga. Another member of the
group, D., has arranged a similar movement and prepares herself to attend milongas
with private classes, acquiring new dancing shoes.
Other manifestations that we observe are the contact with and the recovery of the
corporal image of the patients, in some cases deeply diminished. S., 40-years-old
and of average stature, but weighing only 36 kilos with advanced cancer says that
"when I dance tango I feel blood running through my veins, I don't need any more
therapy, I need tango."
All participants in the workshops, patients as well as the rest of the members begin to
take more pride in their appearances and show greater attention to their personal
appearance (makeup, clothes, etc), in some cases constituting notable changes in aspect.
We also observed the activity as factor of reducing burn-out in professionals
(always over-demanded in their responsibilities). Many of them profess that spending
just 10 minutes at the workshop fills them with energy that lasts the entire day.
They find that the simple presence of the group is a comfort and relief for them.
Their jobs, tied to pain and death, can lead to "burning out". But through tango therapy,
they can, if only momentarily, be connected with themselves, with the patients and relatives,
from another perspective, on a informal and horizontal level.
To these activities others are added with identical welfare aims:
· With young people with special needs (Down's Syndrome),
· With patients with Parkinson's Syndrome, in the Hospital of Clinics of Bs As City.
· With non-clairvoyants.
These activities, until now, have not produced income, in spite of the repeated grant proposals presented to different public and private entities for support.

Imagen: Pintura de Estela Bartoli // Phone (54-011) 4867-5793 // 4896-4571 // Bs.As. - Argentina