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The Tango Lesson Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

The Tango Lesson

Rated PG for brief language and some violent images.

PG In Theaters 11/14/1997 , 102min.
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Plot & Details

Maverick filmmaker Sally Potter, who won acclaim in 1993 with the gender-bending, history-warping Orlando, returns to her dancing roots with The Tango Lesson. Potter wrote, directed, and starred in the film, also assembling the soundtrack, dancing, and even singing the film's final song. Potter was trained as a dancer in London in the 1970s before turning to film. Here, she plays Sally, a character who is essentially herself. Sally is a screenwriter suffering from writer's block and dissatisfaction with her own project, a murder mystery movie called Rage which focuses on the fashion industry. To take a break, she travels to Paris, where she sees the dancer Pablo Veron perform the tango. She becomes obsessed with the dance and offers Veron a part in her film in exchange for lessons. The two become deeply involved as dancers and as lovers, and their emotional intimacy threatens the success of their dancing together. The film is shot mostly in black and white, except for some dream sequences in which Sally fantasizes about her film project. Veron performs many modern dance numbers, including tap and ballroom dancing, as part of his tango repertoire.

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