Wednesday, October 6, 2010

September 23 - October 6

Saturday, September 25, 2010
Ushering at Marine's Memorial Theatre for the Kate Clinton Show.
The show was fun, with Lada Haha whip smart and witty. But what on earth does Kate Clinton have to do with tango, you might wonder? Well...not much. But wait!!! It was during our debriefing that the ushers were told that Forever Tango will likely be coming to that theatre in December 2010 for three weeks. In the past, when Forever Tango has been in town, the ushering gigs were only open to those who had ushered with the theater in the past. So if any of y'all are thinking that you might want to usher, now is the time to get on the Marine's Memorial Theatre ushering list. I think there might only be another one or two different shows before November/December.

Thursday, September 30, 2010
Verdi Club Milonga with lesson beforehand by Cristy Cote and George Garcia of Hawaii. I missed the lesson, but it was apparently very well attended, and a good, challenging one. The milonga was also very well attended, especially by many of the the local and visiting maestros in town (in no particular order: Pampa Cortes, Luiza Paes y Julio Bassan, Alex and Luz, Santiago and Amy, Dani Tuero and Mila Vigdorova, Andrea Monti, Cristy C, Adolfo C, Rose V, Julian R, Natasha D, Glenn C, etc.). Though conditions were quite crowded, the floorcrafting was pretty good overall with dancers generally respectful and no one worked up into a frenzy. The highlight of the evening was the rather lengthy show: A dance demo of Christy Cote and George Garcia, and then another dance demo of Dani Tuero and a student of his whose name escapes me (Mila's toe is broken), and a "blind tango" dance with several of the visiting maestros After a few minutes of coaxing the four good sport volunteer leader maestros onto the dance floor, their eyes were covered with large black blindfolds (impossible to peek out of). Several of these maestros did not have their usual partners there, so that added a layer of complexity. The four couples all danced together to a Pugliese song, and it was great fun seeing how well they did at remaining in the line of dance, and keeping the space even between dance couples. Then things were turned up a notch when a partner change was called and the followers moved on to the next leader, obviously not their usual partner / dance style. It was really fun night overall. Even though there were noticeably more followers than leaders, there were no whack-a-mole tanguera ambushers, and the leaders were all of the social, community-building nature (no glommers on, no people who hung onto you and never let go because they want to dance with you ALLLLLLL niiiiiiiiiiiight loooooooooonggggg).

I had a funny conversation that night with someone who likes to tell me what I should write about. I always encourage him to start his own blog so that he can write whatever he wants to talk about. But he said he is shy that way. Whatever. Anyway, the topic he wanted me to address was when Leaders are there, and they are tired, and Followers stare them down and pretty much insist that they dance with him (or other leaders). Normally, I wouldn't write about this, and I had decided not to. However, because of a conversation I had several days later at Z's dinner, I decided it deserved some mention.

Friday, October 1, 2010
MUSE milonga at City Dance Annex.
It was a lightly attended night, but with good quality dancers. So I had an excellent time.

Sunday, October 3, 2010
Dinner at Z's.
As some of you may know, our own Mix Mistress Z is also a wonderful chef extraordinaire. Seven of us descended upon her place, and she cooked up a feast (despite having spent all day DJing at Tango in the Square): Carrot Soup with Cumin and Lime; Spinach Salad with Bosc Pears, Cranberries, Red Onion and Toasted Hazelnuts; Pur Borek with Feta Cheese; Lamb with Black Olives; Revani (Turkish/Green farina Sponge Cake soaked in Syrup with a twist). We were all encouraged to bring our own wine, which most of us did, except El Jefe, who is allergic to mold! Street parking near her house can be a little difficult (though the parking gods were smiling me on that night), but conveniently there is a public parking garage across the street. I am no stranger to some seriously delicious cooking, and tonight was no exception. Each dish was wonderful and I cleaned my plate every time (and most everyone else did, too). Portions were ample, and I am quite sure everyone had as much as they wanted of each delicious dish.

The conversations were quite lively as the group consisted of all tango people, one from as far away as Italy. It was a fun experience breaking bread with lots of people I had formerly only danced with and had conversations during cortinas with. I know that the parishioners of the Church of Glenn go out to eat after services, but I had never done so personally and so really never sat down in a group setting to eat with my fellow tangueros (except on those group tours to Buenos Aires in 2007 and 2008). Z also had fantastic music playing for atmosphere, and not just tango music.

There were more men than women at this particular dinner, and again, the same topic that came up at the Verdi Club a few days earlier came up again: That is, when women/followers stare down men, or even boldly go up to them and insist that they dance with them, even though the Leaders may be tired or just don't want to dance. I asked why these Leaders just didn't say "No" -- or "I'm tired" or the usual phrases that women use when they decline a dance. They said that it is harder for a man to say no to a woman who asks them to dance (or who fervently cabaceos them). Part of this is because guys are just really nice and they feel a lot of empathy for women who t put themselves out there and ask a man to dance. (And Pablo tells me the other part is that men are hesitant to say no to a woman because it might hurt his chances with her off the milonga dance floor as well.) They too, expressed their irritation at other leaders or followers who go up to them while they are in conversation with a follower and ask either them to dance or the follower to dance. So, bottom line is that there seems to be a need overall for more etiquette instruction. So here's a little something for us all, written by Mitra Martin in L.A.: And thanks to Junior Scout Extraordinaire for forwarding me the link last week. I thought Mitra's instructions were beautifully and cleverly written.

Come join me!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Cellspace with lesson beforehand by Homer and Cristina Ladas

1 comment:

Today in Tango said...

Hi, we just started a new blog on tango history...each day we post an event that
happened that day in tango can be the birth of a famous singer,
composer of poet, the debut of a film or the recording of a famous tango song...
you can even search tango principles according to their sun sign

Can you help spread the word by letting your students know about it or placing
a link on your blog...there is no advertising or money involved...we're
not selling anything, we simply love tango and in particular tango history...we
welcome any suggestions.....

If you come to Rome, please let us know...we would be glad to welcome you
and show you around; my wife and I love meeting and being with people...thanks, have a
nice day...well here is the link

Oscar Wright and Maria Teresa Ruocco
66 via ovidio
00195 Rome, italy
Hm 06-45437139
Cel: 340-646-7159
Web Site: