Date of Submission

Spring 2023

Academic Program

Film and Electronic Arts

Project Advisor 1

Ben Coonley

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Tanda Fantástica

Senior Project Submitted to The Division of the Arts Of Bard College

by Melonie Mei-Long Bisset

Annandale-on-Hudson, New York May 2023

My senior project Tanda Fantástica is a fantasy dance film capturing the experience of dancing Argentine tango as a set of three songs, or a tanda. At a milonga, which is a tango dance party, it is customary to invite or to be invited by someone to dance a set of three to four songs, called a tanda. Thus, for 12-15 minutes, one is committed to their dance partner, and the experience of dancing tango cannot be summed up in just one song.

This short film explores the imaginary spaces we create in our minds as we immerse ourselves in a dance. The viewers are led on a journey through space and time. The film questions the saying “it takes two to tango,” and starts off with a tango solo, followed by a tango duo, the ideal tango, and ends with an array of interchangeable dancer, displaying the concept of tango queer where anyone can lead and follow, challenging the hyper-heterosexual norms of the dance. It also brings about the idea that the experience of dancing tango is universally shared. As the audience are no longer able to focus on just one couple, they see the overarching shared sentiments felt by people engage with the art form.

3D animation is paired with live action to bring out the fantastic parts of the experience of dancing. I explore how dancing tango can take the dancer into a fantasy realm, flying free, transcend time and space, this timeless and spaceless quality of tango, how people find meaning and comfort in the dance.

My film attempts to challenge the heavily perpetuated tango clichés. Here, tango is not the overly sexualized and exorcized dance as it is often presented in the media. I try to focus on tango’s ability to establish deeper human connections, underlying the experience of complete immersion while dancing...

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