Interview: Meet Malou Meyenhofer And Nicolas Sandez Who Are Firing Up Mumbai’s Tango Scene

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The first time I saw them dance was on an empty terrace, lit by the setting sun against the backdrop of Versova’s gritty skyline. They painted quite a picture, his strong masculine lines beautifully showcased her elegant footwork and smooth sashaying. It was strikingly evident that while they danced the world faded away and all that mattered was the moment. I was drawn in, to their movements, their footwork and their connection as they danced the tango.

When I first saw them dance, image © Salonee Gadgil
When I first saw them dance, image © Salonee Gadgil

This duo of Malou Meyenhofner and Nicolas Sandez, have danced their way into my heart. I was instantly seduced by the tango, and asked them to teach me. I wanted to feel that same understated sensuality so characteristic of tango. In a world where thrusting pelvises and heaving breasts have dumbed down our senses, the restrained elegance of the tango is a welcome change.

Malou Meyenhofer originally from Switzerland, has lived in Mumbai since 2008 and absolutely loves it here. Don’t let her angelic smile fool you, she fights her way into local trains like a true Mumbaikar! She’s worked with the Opera of Zurich and other dance companies across Europe. When in Mumbai she works as a dancer/choreographer in the film industry, and promotes tango & lindy hop.

Mumbai most definitely has a tango scene. I hope to add to it in some way, and leave a part of me behind!

A captivating connection, image © Salonee Gadgil
A captivating connection, image © Salonee Gadgil

A year ago when she travelled to Sweden she met Nicolas Sandez, an Argentinian dancer/trapeze artist. The two hit it off, and realized that they both shared a deep passion for tango. Malou suggested Nicolas join her in India for a couple of months. He couldn’t resist the promise of an adventure. “I used to take tango classes a couple of years ago at Zenzi, but had stopped for a while.” says Malou, “In Nicolas I found a partner to help me support the local scene again.” 

They’re here now, and have begun what they set out to do. I was curious about what the duo thought about the local tango scene. Does one even exist? “Mumbai most definitely has a tango scene. There are a few teachers and some venues do host milongas (social tango dances), but at the moment tango has a very small presence in Mumbai. I hope to add to it in some way, and leave a part of me behind!” quotes Nicolas.

Synchronized Steps, image © Salonee Gadgil
Synchronized Steps, image © Salonee Gadgil

Nicolas hails from Buenos Aires, the birthplace of the tango. He has a deep understanding of art form, which can only come from having grown up around it. I’ll go with the cliché and say it runs in his blood. He’s everything I think a tango dancer must be; passionate, smooth and an absolute gentleman.

Attend an 8 hour workshop (spread over 4 sessions) with Malou and Nicolas, and you will have the skills and the confidence to dance the tango socially, at milongas or clubs. From there if you want to take things to the next level, you can take advanced lessons. Their first workshop at The Art Loft has already begun and has been very well received. Malou’s thrilled with the response. “Personally, I think the tango scene in Mumbai is all set to grow. The time is just right!”

They’re starting a new batch in Juhu next week, classes to be held every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. They also have sessions planned for Bandra, Andheri, etc. If you want to make an enquiry about these workshops or private tango lessons, get in touch call 77389 77928.

Post By Salonee Gadgil (86 Posts)

I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.

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Salonee Gadgil

Salonee Gadgil
I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.