Thursday, May 5, 2011

April 28 - May 4

Thursday, April 28, 2011
The Verdi Club Milonga.
I arrived in the middle of the lesson, taught by Marcela Duran and Gaspar Godoy of Forever Tango, and since there were more Followers than Leaders in the packed class, I skipped participating in it, though I was able to watch it. Gaspar taught in Spanish, and Marcela translated to English. I found his instruction and her translation and additional instructions to be very clear and precise. They also struck me as being very enthusiastic, caring teachers. They did a two-song performance later on during the milonga.

The milonga was fun. The Ben Bogart Sexteto / Los Gatos Azules were the same musicians as the night prior at CellSpace, with the exception of Adrian Jost of Trio Garufa sitting in for Korey Ireland. They played well to a full house. The milonga was reasonably fun on account of the good crowd, the live music, and the buzz and excitement of having tango royalty (Marcela and Gaspar) in the house. Unfortunately, floorcrafting was a little hairy, aggressive, and careless at times, though I suppose it could have been a lot worse (but thankfully wasn't).

Some of the the San Francisco Bay Area competitors from the Argentine Tango USA Festival and USA Championship were there at a reserved table, and it was fun seeing them all together. Although we've seen them dance (or danced with them personally) for years, I think there is a keener eye on them and appreciation of their dancing after the competition. It seems the Bay Area is still buzzing and basking in the afterglow of all the excitement, and lucky for us some of the maestros have extended their stay for another week or so (Pulpo!). Christy mentioned that Ramada and Yumiko came in second place in Salon, and just bopping into the Festival web site, here are the official results:

Argentine Tango USA Champions
Salon Tango (Official Category)

1st Place: Brian Nguyen and Yuliana Basmajyan from Los Angeles.
2nd Place: Jesse Ramada Salieri and Yumiko Krupenina from San Francisco.
3rd Place: Gustavo Hornos and Jessica Salomón from San Francisco.

Stage Tango
1st Place: Marcelo Molina and Carolina Vasquez from Fresno.
2nd Place: Gustavo Hornos and Jessica Salomon from San Francisco.

Congrats to all who participated, even those who didn't place. It's not easy going through the daunting task of competing, with the hundreds of hours of practicing, the expense both time and moneywise of costuming, and just the sheer pressure and emotional stress of being judged publicly.


MUSE Milonga tomorrow night!

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