The Queer Tango Salon Paris 2016


Paris 2016: The final Session on 17th September

What some of those involved said about The Queer Tango Salon:

Edgardo Fernández Sesma, Special Guest, queer tango activist in Buenos Aires:

A Cool Salon Tango “, Paris 2016.

End next to those who participated with presentations and workshops and lxs organizadorxs. It has been a very enriching meeting for me and I am grateful, now not only to Ray Batchelor, but also to the people from different countries who were interested in what we do in Buenos Aires, in the spaces of socialization of tango faces, beyond Of milongas, and in our campaigns of solidarity. Thank you again to Miguel Kanai, for their translations and giant congratulations to Ray Batchelor for the enormous amount of work done to get to this international gathering of great prospects.

Astrid Weiske, Keynote Contributor and queer tango teacher, organiser of the famous Berlin International Queer Tango Festival:

It was a fab weekend of seminars or workshops of The Queer Tango Salon: Connecting Bodies of Knowledge! here in Paris – great lectures, wonderful encounters and exchange of ideas, theories, practice and of course dancing… different kind of genres of research, very inspireing and buena onda. 🙂 – thanks to Ray Batchelor who all set this up and brought us all together! ❤


Professor Melissa Fitch, Keynote Contributor, University of Arizona, Keynote Contributor and author of Global Tangos: Travels in the Transnational Imaginary:

A wildly successful and intellectually enriching gathering in Paris hosted by Ray Batchelor (Bucks New University, UK), Jon Mulholland (University of West of England, Bristol, UK) and Helene Marquié (Université Paris 8),

 Gaston Enrique Olguin, queer tango maestro and Keynote Contributor:

Again, I want to thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity share some of my ideas at The Queer Tango Salon and to do so in a context which is new to me, where each of us expressed their ideas freely and each listened to the other.

The discussions, intimacy and freedom of expression in this beautiful community helps create different types of relationships.

Thank you very much for helping queer tango continue to grow in different directions and to make sure it is not only about dancing. I am both very happy and proud to have been a part of this development.


Dr Marion Kauthaker, who supported Matt Coombes in delivering a workshop on dancing with re-designed bodies:

Very proud to have been part of this great event: thought-provoking papers, sessions and contributions, beautiful and diverse people, very important discussions, ideas and practices that challenge tango codes and social norms. Right up my street as an academic and semi-retired tango dancer! I am left with ideas, questions, frustrations and a need to do this again.

Thanks to the wonderful Ray Batchelor for organising and to the best partner I could ever hope for, Matt Ce who helps me revive my tango passion x

Ray Batchelor added at the time on behalf of the organisers:

By most of the criteria we can think of, we think The Queer Tango Salon really was a success. We had hoped for perhaps 30-35 delegates – by the close we had 65 people who had registered. Of those, there was a good mix of activist queer tango dancers and teachers AND academics in rich variety. As the Programme shows, in addition to activist contributions we had seminar and workshop items from

social scientists

a geographer

a literary critic

a linguist

a management specialist

an art historian

a designer

..and a design historian.

The standard of workshops and papers was consistently high and this before mentioning the terrific work of our Keynote Contributors, Astrid Weiske and Gaston Enrique Olguin representing queer tango activism, teaching stimulating workshops; and Melissa Fitch and Kathy Davis providing vibrant, thought-provoking academic presentations.

And then of course we were fortunate enough that Edgardo Fernández Sesma agreed to come as our Special Guest and to report directly on his queer tango activism in Buenos Aires.

As I noted elsewhere, the moment at which I believed I could see that we had probably achieved in no small measure our objective of inviting these people from these two worlds of the activists and academics to come together to present ideas, to discuss and to dance with each other was at the Practilonga on Friday night – this is where I must thank with all my heart the queer tango dancers of Paris, some of whom joined us for the whole event, but even more of whom came to, turned up, supported our Practilonga and danced with us. It was really great and I should like to thank them for being exemplary queer tango hosts to us, not only at this formal part of the programme, but also at the two Parisian milonga ‘outings’ on Thursday and Saturday evenings.

The venue – apart from having to squeeze in a few more ‘bodies of knowledge’ than we had expected to turn up – worked well and the staff there could not have been more helpful. The in-house restaurant’s duck with dates and halibut with mustard sauce proved a further subject of conversation.

By the last seminar session of the second day, Saturday, when we had expected that perhaps our delegates might have drifted off to get on with their lives (the ‘Graveyard Slot’ which Jon Mulholland and I gave ourselves) there was not an empty seat in the room – perhaps 50 people in all. And I cannot close this dangerously self-serving account without also thanking everyone who came, and who contributed not only to the high level of debate which occurred, but brought to the event goodwill, energy and a positive mood to the whole undertaking.

On behalf of my fellow organisers, Hélène Marquis from Université Paris 8, Jon Mulholland from the University of the West of England, Bristol and myself from Bucks News University near London, I would like to thank everyone who came to what we are increasingly thinking of as the FIRST Queer Tango Salon: Connecting Bodies of Knowledge and made it what we gradually permitting ourselves to think of as a success.