More Than Two to Tango: Interview with Professional Tango dancers and teachers Maja Petrović and Marko Miljević.
Marko Miljević and his partner Maja Petrović have been around the world.
They have performed in lot of countries. Tango is one of the most strongest and enduring influences in their life. They have performed in festivals and taught students in seminars.
Dancers and teachers Maja Petrović and Marko Miljević.
ML&L - What were your first experiences in dancing?
Maja - I started dancing when I was 3 years old,
ballet and contemporary dancing. In the end of high school and through the college I did ballroom, Latin and Salsa. Marko also did ballroom and Latin in the end of high school.
ML&L - What stimulated you to start dancing Tango?
Maja - In our ballroom and Latin schools international tango was a part of the program. One day a couple came (we didn’t do ballroom together, we went to different schools)
and showed us a few steps of Argentine tango and told us where we could learn more. Marko started with tango Argentino a year or so before I, but we both came it to through the same friends.
ML&L - What do you associate with Tango?
Maja - All kinds of different emotions, from love, despair, sadness, joy, etc.
Aesthetically we find tango very beautiful, comparable only with classical ballet. Another association is the embrace which is very special in tango.
ML&L - What music did you like most when you started?
Marko - Maja liked classical music (late 19. century, early 20. century) and pop, I enjoyed also classical music (British composers mostly) and Bruce Springsteen.
ML&L - What do you think stimulates people to start dancing tango?
Marko - Search for the human contact and connection. The embrace in tango is quite unique compared to the other dances.
Maja Petrović & Marko Miljević - "Bailando me diste un beso" - Canaro/Arenas y Alonso - 2 (Vals)
ML&L - Are you dancing different styles of tango? What is special about your style?
Marko - We are inspired by all the styles of tango, but we prefer and dance in close embrace. We like to explore the possibilities and limits of close embrace.
ML&L - In what way would you describe tango as a lifestyle?
Maja - We honestly think that tango should not be a lifestyle. Tango should be a fun and enjoyable experience but it should not be taken too seriously. You shouldn’t let it get to your head.
ML&L - You travel a lot and participated lot of festivals. What activities that are related to Tango do you join? (e.g. workshops, festivals, contests, events).
Maja - We mostly do festivals and weekend workshops. We rarely perform for non-dancers and we don´t do contests.
ML&L - How do you feel about all the traveling you do?
Maja - It is very exciting and we enjoy it a lot, but it is also very tiring and can be quite exhausting. Sometimes we have just 1 day a week to rest and be at home.
ML&L - What separates your dance school from others?
Maja - We don´t have a dance school, we just travel and teach in different places.
Maja Petrović & Marko Miljević - "Tzigane tango" - Piazzolla - 1
ML&L - Do you think it’s possible for someone who doesn’t have dance background can REALLY learn tango?
Marko - Dance background is not necessary to really learn tango.
However, if you have never had any physical activity whatsoever (that helps with coordination, rhythm, body awareness etc) the chances are much smaller.
ML&L - Is it difficult to teach this dance, especially if what you are trying to teach is more than just the dance steps?
Marko - Yes, it can be challenging at times. But this is also what makes it interesting and helps us develop as dancers and teachers.
ML&L - How do you promote your dance?
Maja - As dancers, we promote ourselves mostly via Facebook, Youtube and our website.
ML&L - What was your dream or vision?
Maja - We had no particular plan or vision.
When Marko finished his PhD, we already had a few invitations to teach and wanted to see if this is what we could do for living. It turned out well and we decided to teach tango full time.
ML&L - What is it that you find most fulfilling about what you do?
Maja - We both enjoy teaching very much. It is very nice to see that the ideas that you gave your students are working and they are improving.
Maja Petrović & Marko Miljević - "Venganza" - Alberto Marino - 1
ML&L - Any advice for beginner tango dancers?
Marko - Take a lot of lessons with different teachers until you find what you like. And dance, dance, dance.
ML&L - What makes a good leader in Tango?
Maja - His ability to communicate with the follower and adapt to them. Good technique and musicality are equally important.
ML&L - What do you do to keep developing your skills?
Marko - We practice ourselves and often try new techniques
ML&L - Whether you are teaching or performing tango, what do you hope to leave your students or audience with? What’s the main message you’d like to leave your audience with?
Marko - We want to show the beauty, harmony and connection in the couple. Interesting steps and figures are fun to watch and can impress you but without a real connection the dance becomes empty.