BUENOS AIRES is well known for Tango, but what is not generally known is that Buenos Aires is also about psychoanalysis. Is there a connection between Tango and psychoanalysis in Argentina? Our film shows that the Tango is not only a musical style but also a complex state of mind. It is, at once, elegant and formal, passionate and intimate. It is an introverted dance that encompasses all the attributes of life’s problems: frustration, unhappiness, rancor, nostalgia, and resentment. Just like Tango, psychoanalysis is also entrenched in the popular culture of Buenos Aires and establishes its unique urban character in the particular community of Buenos Aires known as Villa Freud.
Tango is at once sensual and dramatic that can perform in song and dance many key psychological motifs between a man and a woman: sadness, melancholy, power and vulnerability. The lyrics are an important element for it provides the means of expression for the various emotions, hopes, disappointments, dreams, memories, anxieties, love and philosophy of life. Tango is both dance and metaphor. In its earliest forms Tango involved sex, since it was originally a lascivious, erotic dance that could only be performed in a bordello. The links to prostitution and the servicing of one sex by another suggests an affinity with the therapist – patient relationship. It takes two to Tango as it does to engage in psychotherapy.
The prevalence of psychoanalysis in Buenos Aires is unusual. But is this just coincidence? Or do we have in these twin practices of Tango and Psychoanalysis a remarkable story about a society born of so many immigrant influences (e.g., Spanish, Italian, German, French, English, Jewish) that it chooses to navigate its self-understanding of a rootless existence, anxiety and liminality through both the art of Tango and the practice of psychoanalysis?
Our film will track this key question through interviews with patients, therapists and vox pops from Porteños (locals) of all persuasions; and in the spectacles of Tango singers and dancers found in the streets and theatres of the city where the points of contact between Tango and Psychoanalysis meet in the throbbing heart of Buenos Aires. The film’s strength will be its ability to move from the dynamic and engaging sounds and performance of Tango (an international “language” of poetry and movement) to the attractive images of Buenos Aires (Villa Freud) where Psychoanalysts and their community live and work.