2007, September 29

I can think of only one situation where I will invite someone 100% of the time during a milonga:

– The current tanda played by the DJ suits me.

– The girl with whom I’m wanting to dance is chatting with another girl.

– Another leader invites this other girl.

The first condition is easily met, almost anything but Di Sarli will do. The second condition is already much less frequently fulfilled; the lady tends to be in a larger group, or with a male. Same for the last condition, I have standard tastes so if a follower pleases me she will please the other leaders too.


2007, September 24

This is my i-pod, except it’s not an i-pod but a Creative Zen touch. All the tangos that I like ended up here, and as there remained Gigabytes of disk I’ve also copied one part of my pop-music, classic and ballroom CDs.

And here I was, last Friday, climbing up to 4th floor where the A.T class was due. From the moment I had left my flat I was listening to a Piazzolla selection, trying to emulate Chicho (It’s common knowledge that in his younger days he used to walk in the streets for hours, with a Piazzolla-filled walkman tm ). The mp3 machine was playing Invierno porteno in a live version, and for some reason I failed to decide whether it was the Milan or the Vienna concert. Shame on me. I realized I would have to look at the screen. My right hand began to extirpate the i-pod from its carrying case…

And like a soap in the tub the i-pod escaped from its protective shell and fell on the floor, leaving me with an empty case in the hand. Worse, the wooden stairs of this old building being slightly sloping, the i-pod kept going down, bouncing from one step to another. Then of course it fell right into the inner void in the inside of the stairs, bouncing not from step to step any more but from one floor to another.

I dropped the heavy bag (with my shoes, shirts, book, towels, all the stuff I need for tango) I had in my left hand and climbed down, not even in a hurry or worried, sure as I was to find only fragments of what used to be my i-pod. My thoughts were more on the lines of how much does it cost nowadays, maybe they sell smaller ones with more memory, how long will it take to once again listen to all my CDs and pick the pieces…

Well at ground zero I found the little fellow unharmed, still playing the Piazzolla song. It was the Milan version.

No regrets

2007, September 2

The summer break is ending, the golondrinas are back from their festivals abroad and classes will begin again soon. These are the last days for my going to milongas. Classes are the alpha and omega of tango of course, milongas being a mere substitute.

It was packed yesterday. An orchestra and a demo, this sure brings lots of people. And here I was, stuck with a follower who had invited me and was unable to deal with the crowd. It’s not that difficult, it was possible to take large steps, the only thing she had to do was to keep moving around me, keeping her feet next mine. But this requires that you can dissociate hips and torso. She couln’t. Her back steps were behind her and not around me. She kept kicking people and doing unwanted weight shifts. I wasn’t feeling that I was dancing but merely moving her on the floor, counter-clockwise. It wouldn’t have mattered that much on a DI Sarli tanda because I don’t like his way; but the DJ was playing a Donato tanda. At the fourth song I recognized the first notes of El Adios, a piece that I like very much and decided that I would not spoil it with a bad follower so I excused myself.

I had a look around and found only one lady who could have followed properly, unfortunately she had been invited already and I felt jealous of her leader. Not because he was dancing with her and not me, but because he was dancing El adios and not me.

Later, after the demo, the DJ played a Color Tango tanda. Another favourite of mine. Once again I looked around and once again the only suitable follower was in another leader’s arms. Can’t blame her, why would she save dances for me when there are good leaders here? I blamed it on the 99% remaining ladies. Damnit, why do the follower stop taking classes once they’re “good enough”? Sometimes good enough is not enough. Color Tango is not an easy orchestra, the instruments aren’t all playing the same thing at the same time, you have choose to follow this one or this one. And you can even lead on one instrument and step and another. If you’re Gavito, that is.

Losing any hope of finding a follower who could dance Color Tango on a packed floor I took my coat and began to move out. I was at the doorstep when I felt a hand on my arm. I turned, a young lady was smiling to me. She looked vaguely familiar. In the darkness I hadn’t noticed she was there.

“May I have this dance?” she asked, “We danced here last year and it was nice.”
“I’m leaving” I replied, “I changed my shoes already. Maybe next year.”