Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 12-18

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Casa de Tango milonga
@ Ukrainian Village Restaurant (140 - 2nd Avenue, New York City, $10 includes lesson) with lesson by Anthony Blackwell and Ye Ling Chen. The lesson was very basic and they had extra followers, so I sat it out. That was OK though, since I could sample the restaurant's food. Everything was reasonably priced, and they had piroshkis (Polish empanadas, anyone?!) for ~$6. I had a very yummy lamb shank dinner: small lamb shank with accessible marrow, kasha and kraut, for $11. It was very yummy and the perfect amount of food. It rib-sticking, unpretentious and tasted homemade to me (of course I am no expert on Eastern European/Russian cuisine). The lesson began with walking, first open, then in close embrace, and then adding the rock step. The Leader walks with his chest first, then the legs. The Follower reaches back with her legs first, and her body follows. Next were back ochos, with the Leader beginning with a side step, and then doing a full diagonal step forward. For the Follower, it is important that she collect before pivoting. She can practice ochos at home against a wall. For all dancers, homework was assigned: practice this everywhere (except in the shower) such as on the subway platform; you can throw down a hat and dance around it. I thought Maestro was an exceptionally good teacher. He is American, had a clear communication style, assigned homework, and had some great sayings/encouragement: to the slouching, hunching leaders: "Stand up and be who you are... you are a proud man!" "The longer you do this, the more subtle things become." As for the facility, it is in a separate room from the main restaurant, but there is full menu food service and full bar service. Lightingwise during the milonga, things were on the dark side (too dark to cabaceo from across the room). Music was in tandas with obviously American music cortinas. The only odd thing was that the organizers liked to take a lot of pictures, so periodically a flash would go off. Despite being the new tanguera in town, I was asked to dance by many good leaders. Lucky for me, it was also a Sadie Hawkins dance, so the other few leaders I really wanted to dance with, I actually asked. All but one accepted. I had an excellent time, and stayed much longer than I originally intended. I'd go again, probably just watch the lesson and have dinner there for sure.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
CCSF Classes with Chelsea Eng. In Followers' Technique,
the topic was "A Taste of Buenos Aires + Footcare, and Turns." We began with a handout on Foot Care & AT, which discussed culprits, preventatives, and remedies. It was a great handout, and maestra brought in examples of the products for prevention and remedies. For our classwork, we began with our usual walking exercises, and added a twist and ochos. We also did linear grapevine footwork to get us used to the molinete. We did our usual, essential floor exercises to improve our core strength and torquing range of motion. At the barre, we practiced doing an ocho and then a side step. In partnership we practiced molinetes, clockwise and counterclockwise.

In Advanced, we reviewed our work from last week on changes of directions/alterations. First we began with floor exercises doing forward ochos, then in place, then overturned retreating ochos. It was a good class because we needed the practice continuing to drill the concept. One interesting addition was where the embrace changed on the open side, where Leader does L behind his back with his left arm, and takes Follower's right arm with him so that they are close; then they both step forward Americana style to the close side (Follower's right foot, Leader's left foot).


Thursday, February 19
La Pista milonga & lesson by Homer & Cristina: Improvisation

Friday, February 20
La Tangueria de Oakland milonga & Lesson by Homer & Cristina: Back Volcada Explored

Saturday, February 21
CCSF Milonga

Sunday, February 22
Studio Gracia Natalia Hills workshop & milonga

Monday, February 23,
Either Orange Practica @ The Beat with lesson by Homer & Cristina: Leader & Follower enrosques or La Cumparsita Milonga @ Slovenian Hall with lesson by Natalia Hills

Wednesday, February 25
CCSF classes

1 comment:

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