Thursday, February 21, 2008

Scouting tour continues...(La Cumparsita)

February 18 – La Cumparsita Milonga @ Slovenian Hall. Diego Escobar & Angelina Staudinger (Bs As) taught the lesson: two figures (little conceptual discussion). Figure 1: Like an ocho cortado, only more suspended and sweeter in the connection and on Follower shoe show-off and return to cross (they did a slow spiral cross). Figure 2: Leader leads Follower into (spiral) cross ending up with Follower perpendicular to Leader on closed side of the embrace. Follower then steps side right, then forward and around leader with her left leg, her right leg then trails and swoops around and meets Leader's left leg in a parada; she pasadas (with optional embellishment; Leader must give her time if she chooses to do so). After the first pasada, the Leader can do either (A) another parada using his right leg, which Follower than pasadas, or (B) a stop (sacada) leading Follower into a clockwise molinete. Diego and Angelina did a very nice (show) tango demonstration. The food and wine were better than what Carolina and Dorcas both normally provide, and included La Boca wine from Argentina (via Trader Joes), salami, and bite-size brownies in addition to Carolina's usual healthy fare (veggies, fruit, cheese, crackers).

February 20 – CCSF classes. We continued our work on turns, working on increasing our torquing range of motion, and our footwork-- really trying to clean it up and feel more comfortable in the molinete and cadena. We drilled the sequences already learned: 8CB to 5, followed by ½ molinete (fwd – side) with Leader sacadas, into cadenas. We did this both clockwise and counterclockwise molinete, and left side cadena and right side cadena. Eventually, we linked them all up together (doing the molinete and cadena on one side, then doing the molinete and cadena on the other side). Follower embellishments were added: beat back (Maestra calls it a front tuck) of right foot in front of left foot before 4 of the 8CB, boleos on the ocho steps. In the cadena, Maestra emphasized the groundedness/closeness of feet to the floor, to make it look cleaner and more elegant (rather than having our feet off the floor, which looks sloppy).

February 21 – I am getting a mole removed from the bottom of my foot (it appeared about a year or two ago and has steadily gotten more prominent—this change is why my dermatologist recommended removal), so that means no dancing for me for 3 days. Have your moles checked, folks. Do you have ones that have changed, are irregularly shaped, or are bigger than the size of a pencil eraser? Skin cancer, caught early enough, is 100% curable. But caught too late, it can be 100% fatal.

February 24 – Heads Up: the CCSF Spring Milonga in our New Health & Wellness Center, 3rd Fl.

1:00-2:00 p.m. Intro Lesson to Argentine Tango for Absolute Beginners taught by Chelsea Eng
2:00-4:30 p.m. Argentine Tango Dance Party

$5, benfitting the CCSF dance program. Come check it out! (I won't be able to, I am ushering that day.)

February 25 – La Cumparsita milonga & lesson (by Jon & Judy) @ Slovenian Hall.

February 27 – CCSF classes.

February 28 – Pulpo's workshops @ La Pista (Pulpo [Spanish for "Octopus"] has workshops 2/23-2/29. His dance style is unique; I am hoping his teaching style will focus on concepts and technique (from interviews he sounds very creative and inspiring). Check him out on YouTube. He's called Pulpo because his legs move like an Octopus in the way they entwine in enganches and ganchos. Pulpo is teaching at CITA 2008, so here is your chance for a taste if you aren't attending.). He was here last year (June??), with a lesson before the St. Aiden's milonga – my first upon returning to Tango. I was woefully lost back then. Hopefully I will be able to follow the lesson this time around.

February 29 – Pulpo's workshops @ La Pista maybe followed by St. Aiden's Milonga or Café Cocomo Leap Year Milonga.


To my tanguero foodies (and y'all know who you are): Pena Pachamama Tango Night is March 7, with Christy & Darren, Chelsea & Count performing. There is a $12 cover. Food is Bolivian, with a lot of organic raw vegan items (in addition to the usual meat and hot cooked foods). Reservations required, and let them know you want to be seated downstairs where the show is (upstairs does not have a view of the show). There are 2 seatings: 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Followed by….Trio Garufa's CD Release Party @ Ashkenaz in Berkeley (also March 7).

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