Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Simple

Some dancers think that the fancier the dancing, the better. 

"Simple is boring!" they say.  They complain if the tango performances they see don't have something body-contorting/death-defying/jaw-dropping/eye-popping.  They take classes not for basics or for navigation ("That's so BEGINNER"), but to learn complicated and flashy moves. 

...And then they go and do the stuff they just learned on crowded dance floors.  Enthusiastically and without any regard for the people they are barrelling into.  Thanks a lot.

It's probably useless showing them this video.  They are too busy practicing helicopter spins and triple enganche gancho giros (whatever that is) to pay attention.  It's a video of two of the biggest Tango maestros in the world....dancing simply.  And it's stunning:


Osvaldo Cartery and Elina Roldan dancing simply to a simple vals

They don't know or understand that it takes more experience and skill and musicality to break it down and make every movement expression and emotion.  It is actually easier to do a set of steps than to flow and be free to respond to every nuance of the music and to the changing conditions of the dance floor around you.






 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Roberto Segarra interviewed by PractiMilonguero

Monica Paz has recently posted her interview of our Milonguero friend Roberto Segarra on her PractiMilonguero Youtube page.  Roberto is a treasure trove of Tango history - and still dancing the night away in the milongas even though he is turning 96 this year!



Roberto is wonderfully energetic and musical and his enthusiasm and passion for tango is infectious.  Here's a video of us at Marta Fama's milonga last year - watching it is a lovely reminder of the tanda of vals we danced.  We have our feet on the floor but it felt like flying:


"Roberto dances simply but he is sooooo milonguero, don't you think?" I asked Man Yung.

"Oh yes!  I heard he is a big flirt!" said Man Yung.

"No, that's not what I mean," I said.  "What I mean is that he dances only a few steps, but it's pure 1000% tango!"

"Ah Irene," said Man Yung, "The Old Milongueros danced few steps because they didn't have the advantages that modern Tango dancers like me have."

I felt incredibly flattered.  Man Yung can be so sweet sometimes. "You mean, Roberto didn't have a partner as wonderful as me to practice with so he could expand his step repetoire?"

Man Yung shook his head.  "No, what I mean is that Roberto didn't have an iPad. With one swipe, I have access to all the steps and step variations in the entire History of Tango.  With my iPad, I will always have some more steps to learn and practice.  I love my iPad!"*

* Oh really.  What the Old Milongueros didn't have was the DISTRACTION of iPad.  Man Yung may have all the steps know to Tangokind at his fingertips, but with all that time he spends watching Youtube videos and trying to learn more and more steps, he won't have to practice them to the point where he could actually digest them!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

We know it is getting hot.....

....But is it SO hot that it is absolutely necessary for guys to show up in the milonga dressed like basketball players?

"But Irene and Man Yung, it is hot! Shorts and jerseys keep me cool as a cucumber.  And when I'm trying to navigate in a crowded milonga, it kind of feels like I'm trying to dribble past the opposing players in a Raptors Game."

We've also seem some guys dig deep into their closets so they can go Tango in their scouts uniforms.  And just because it was hot, and not because it was Halloween!

"I swear....this kind of get-up at the milonga is just goddamn inappropriate."

We can assure you that a real milonguero won't be caught dead wearing shorts to a milonga.  From the anecdotes we have heard from our milonguero friends in Buenos Aires, little boys in Argentina  wear "short pants" and aren't allowed to wear "long pants" until they are old enough and man enough. 

Kids in shorts are only allowed to dance with their MAMA. 

So you have all these milongueros who have spent all their early years trying to get themselves a pair of long pants just so they can go tango with the big boys and girls.  The right to wear long pants is an important manly accomplishment.  No way are they going to ever wear shorts to dance tango, not in 45 degree heat, not when the air conditioning is broken and the fan is not working, not when the humidity is so bad it is like moving through soup, no way in hellfire and flames with the devil waving a pitchfork.

"Oh Man Yung, stop complaining!" I said.  "I know your pet peeve (apart from reckless bumper car dancers) is seeing guys in shorts in milongas.  I know it is not the best look, but they don't CARE about being milongueros.  Anyone wearing shorts couldn't give a damn about tango tradition or dancing with the best tangueras/milongueras.  Tango to these guys... is just salsa.  Or like going to the gym!  Give them half a year and they will be merrily on their way to bachata or merengue or afro-fusion or whatever it is that next catches their fancy."

Irene is only so tolerant....because like many other tangueras, she is secretly looking forward to the day when all the good looking buff tangueros will show up in the milonga wearing SPEEDOS.  Ah.  David Duchovny.  Shhhhhh!


***  Dear Tango Organizer: Please tell guys wearing shorts to milonga to STOP wearing shorts to milonga.  It is yucky.  However, if David Duchovny shows up wearing red speedos, he is more than welcome.  Thanks.
 

Alberto Dassieu

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