When Paquita made me start dreaming - Boedo, Buenos Aires 24th of July 2020

The other day I was invited to a live streaming about Paquita Bernardo (1900-1925), the first female bandoneon player that we know of. I had to prepare one of her songs and made an arrangement of ‘Soñando':


Afterwards I published this video of the arrangement and three girls wrote me immediately asking for the score. I was happily surprised and I started to wonder. I realized that I’ve never come around a bandoneon arrangement made by a woman. I’ve heard severals being played, but there are something like 50 classic tango arrangements always circulating in the bandoneon environment here in Buenos Aires, and as far I remember none of this material is made by a woman (I hope I'm wrong). Then I started to think about which tangos that I know of are composed by a woman. And there were a few (but very few), as ‘El adios’(Maruja Pacheco Huergo) and ‘Desde el alma’(Rosita Melo) that I became aware of when we did some investigation with my female octet 'Las Malevas', but that was about it. Paquita is famous down here, like a very tough young woman who went against the common way of thinking in her time and managed a lot in her short life. Nevertheless we always talk about her as brave and rebellious, having her own orquesta, playing with Pugliese, but no one is playing or talking about her compositions. To enlighten myself a bit in a playful way I asked in my stories in Instagram (my other Instagram: @stineengen_) and luckily people were very helpful (you can have a look in my Feature stories) and I found amazing living female tango artists that I didn’t know of.

I’ve never been a feminist activist. I’ve kind of felt that it wasn’t my fight, that my challenges were others. I’ve never experienced being excluded because I'm woman (that I’m aware of at any conscious level), and if I have to name what I feel has been limiting me throughout my lifeI would name other issues. I think we all face different challenges in life and in someway it always has to be personal to be authentic. That’s why it in felt false for me to join too actively the feminist course. Of cause I join the cause in general and I see a lot of things to be done on the subject. Here in Argentina it has a more expansive character than in Denmark. A big feministic wave have come to the country and times have for sure changed since I first came here in 2007. The tendency in Buenos Aires especially is that the insecurity is becoming worse, it's really sad, that teenage girls are limited in their roundabouts and have to move in groups or with adults. The result is that the young people stay at home (even when there’s no quarantine) asking for delivery instead of going out for an ice cream or a talk in the park in the early evenings. Another big issue is of cause the great amount of domestic violence. It's also a fact that we still wait for the legalization of abortion.

I’ll leave it here for now. 'Soñando' fulfilled is title ("Dreaming" in English)...to be continued…

If you want to see "Encuentro entre tangueras" is has been uploaded to Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVSWqDQttTY&t=8s


  1. Det er en interessant iagttagelse, Stine. 🌹🎶🌹 Og spændende at du så kaster dig ud i, at skrive arrangement til bandoneon ud fra en af hendes kendte sange 🤗. Der er åbenbart andre bandoneon-musikere, som gerne vil låne af dig.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

You can also follow Tango Tales on Instagram: @tangotales.dk
My other profile where I post my musical activities and other stuff: @stineengen_

If you want to support my artistic work and this blog you can buy me a coffee.