An Interview with Marco Di Giano, conceptualizer of Sri Sri Tango
Marco Di Giano teaches Sri Sri Tango, a workshop that combines yoga, meditation and tango. The result is a fun-filled, relaxing activity for the whole family. People are enthusiastic about the Art of Lving Yoga Tango workshop, where they can easily learn the popular tango social dance in a friendly environment. Along with dancing tango, participants receive an introduction to the benefits of yoga and meditation, which help to improve communication skills, and can relieve the stresses of daily life.
Q. Please tell us about Sri Sri Tango.
Marco: In the Sri Sri Tango class, we create a family atmosphere for all.The family comes and enjoys and shares with all the people. It is very nice and sweet. For those who want to learn tango, it is a very nice way to start. Now you can come for the tango and you discover The Art of Living world.
Q. How did your experience inspire you to create the Sri Sri Tango workshop?
Marco: In The Art of Living International Center, I took the Natya yoga workshop which teaches devotional dance with meditation. I started thinking about tango, dance and meditation and knowledge. And one day, I started talking about it with Krishanji, my Art of Lving Yoga teacher. He inspired me and supported my enthusiasm. He said, “Yes, you can do it.” We started to organize tango dance lessons on Sunday evenings in the Art of Living Center in México City. People started coming. and coming, 20 to 40 people were there regularly, then the TV and newspapers. We realized we could really start this.
Q. What is your personal relationship with yoga?
Marco: It is not only the asanas (physical postures). I associate yoga with a lifestyle, how you can be more balanced, more happy, and live with more enthusiasm. It is not only how to practice the asanas, but to know how to be more skillful to relax, and resolve the situation, to improve the way we perceive reality.
Yoga helps me to put all this knowledge in practice. When I am more calm and centered, I am better, I can perceive better, observe and express myself better. For example, we work on communication skills in Sri Sri Tango. Something happens when you are dancing. You express with words and the body. The body expresses 90 percent, only 10 percent we say with words. When we are in the yoga state, we are together. Our nonverbal and our verbal expression are in the same direction and our communication then becomes more clear and effective . For example, imagine if you say, “Oh I am very happy,” while your hands are shaking and your voice is weak, your nonverbal expression says the reality.
Q. What do you think about the mixture of yoga and dance together?
Marco: They are complementary. Yoga gives us ancient knowledge to be more healthy to improve our skills, and to have more awareness about our habits so we can make ourselves better. We mix these together because tango is beautiful. When we live the tango in this way, it is more light, more accessible. Combining yoga and dance, we can be more open for everyone. The whole family is invited to create this nice environment.
Q. So how does it all work?
Marco: It is an easy way for the people to join together. People come for the tango, and they also enjoy learning the yoga and breathing exercises. People are enjoying it. It is different. It is fresh.
We do a Sri Sri Tango course for three days. We dance, play games, it depends on the people. During the last three days, we teach three to four points that are very important. First is the sense of belongingness. We share about the importance of service in our lives. The importance of love, and taking responsibility in life. We also do some exercise. We work for the sense of the present moment. This is very important in the dance and in life. At the end the tango is not very important in this context of personal growth.
Q. What do people say about the class?
Marco: We get a good response. They say, “Oh, I cannot believe how can I feel such rest, like sleep, in 20 minutes!,” and the people after meditation, they are smiling. When they are asked, “What happened?,” they say, “I don’t know! I feel good.”
Q. Do you have a weekly follow-up session to practice the tango dance, like a satsang?
Marco: Yes, it is amazing. We do in Switzerland and In Argentina also, Maximiliano Christiani created a choreographed dance for this group of people who had never danced professionally before. There were so many of them, maybe half of the people who took the course with me in Argentina performed. It was amazing. They danced in front of thousands of people (at the World Culture Festival) in Berlin.
In December we will have the first Sri Sri Tango Teacher Training Course in Buenos Aires. We are planning to expand this program across the globe. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, "Broaden your vision, deepen your roots."
Q. Can you talk about any transformations you’ve noticed in people?
Marco: When the people come, one sits there and another sits there. Once the course has happened, there is a big hug. For example...they say to the others, “You come to my home and have dinner!” In three days, we create a new little family!