Tango: my life as a not-so-good leader

And you thought that YOU were the worst dancer in the world ?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Keeping the dance-floor free of tourists, part two 

This time we invaded Los Mareados, a brand-new milonga in Junin street. Small place, and we easily outnumbered the locals. Once the demos and the traseo ended, the host used three additional tricks to keep us at range. First, the never-ending speech, thanking just everyone he could think of ("And the pictures on the wall are by my great friend X..."). Then, a couple of feliz cumpleanos. Now, the problem was that neither the locals could dance. So the imaginative host asked the DJ to play a tanda of chacareras. Locals can dance this, but not tourists. By the way it allowed us to detect another group of tourists, much smaller though, in the opposite corner of the milonga.

It´s been raining for two days here. We had scheduled to attend an outside milonga tonight, but we may have to find a plan B. Damn weather, it seems that even the argentine gods want to keep us away from the dance floors...

posted by Pablo  # 11:40 AM (0) comments

Friday, February 16, 2007

Too much show kills the show 

Here I am again, duly spending my pesos in Bs-As, as part of a 32-people group. Talk about a huge group. I am the 32nd by the way, having been sollicited by an organizer worried about his odd, unbalanced group of 31 dancers.

Tanguedios was the milonga we invaded yesterday. The relief when we left, at about 2:00, was perceptible and while going down the stairs to the exit we could hear a joyful tanda of waltzes beginning.

But before that, we were treated, between 24:00 and 2:00, with no less than eight demos by three different couples. Nothing especially good, though they were locals ; and old. Dancing on the beat but ignoring the melody, the themes (or maybe the fantasia part of a piece actually has to be danced the same way as the adagio part, maybe all this fuss about themes is only for export).

Even if the shows had been good, eight was a bit excessive. Oh and there was a traseo of course. My bet is that when they see foreigners they want to keep them away from the floor as much as possible.

posted by Pablo  # 10:14 AM (0) comments

Monday, February 05, 2007

Who cares about level. 

Friday, still training for the forthcoming trip, I went to a small and crowded milonga where my tuesday partner usually goes, and we played Bs-As. The patterns weren't especially ambitious or sharp, but the "I take care of my follower" part went reasonably well.

In any case it was a better training session than two days before, in another place and with another partner, who is not used to dancing blinfold (plus, it was a large floor and we were hardly 6 couples there so it took a lot of imagination to pretend we were at, say, Canning).

But Friday, yes, I could dream I was at El Beso when half of the dancers are tourists like me. Judging from the many smiles she was sending all around, my follower was actually a regular here. As for me I hardly knew anybody, except a few teachers. One of them came to me while
I was at the bar, having a pineapple juice. ("No beer" is part of the training. Getting fit, somehow)
" Your girlfriend is quite pretty, maybe you'll let me have a few dances with her."
" Errr not sure she'll be good enough, her tango level is very far from yours..."
" Level? Who cares about level?"

posted by Pablo  # 3:17 AM (1) comments


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