Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 1 - 25

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Vintage Milonga in White Plains with lesson beforehand by Ney Melo.  There were more Followers than Leaders during the lesson, so I just watched and had dinner, which was much the same as last week (pasta, salad, bread, and a tomato/cheese-based entrĂ©e – this week was chicken).  The milonga was fun, and I got to dance with more of the locals.  We had a birthday vals for Maestro and a local tanguero.  I did not cut in, but just enjoyed watching from the bar.  We also had some yummy chocolate cake.  Later on, I actually won one of the raffle prizes!  My first!  I had a choice of a very fancy silk shoe bag (I passed); brunch for 2 at Vintage (I passed, which in retrospect, I shouldn’t have); a bottle of wine (the one I chose).  My last tanda was with the birthday tanguero (not Maestro), who said our tanda was the best birthday present he got.  Aaaaww… now isn’t that sweet?  Who would have thought those Westchester county men could be that charming.  :o)

Saturday, April 7, 2012
Mariela Franganillo’s La Practica @ Dance Manhattan. It wasn’t super crowded, and a lot of my usual favorite dancers weren’t there. That’s OK though, as it meant I got to dance more with people I don’t usually dance with, and some new folks too. I met one person who turned out to be terrific.  He encouraged me to stay for the next practica afterwards, which I did.

Fundamentals Practica @ Dance Manhattan. This practica was lightly attended, but instead of being absolute beginners, there were some folks who stayed from the practica earlier, and some folks who came who are actually borderline teachers but who wanted to actually practice their material on a spacious dance floor, and others who were just plain serious about practicing with their dance partner and did not switch.  This group was rounded out by beginners who needed to work on their fundamentals before they were unleashed onto the milonga dance floor.  What was nice about this was that the organizers recognized that there were more Followers than Leaders and encouraged the Leaders to switch so that a good time could be had by all. There was also a raffle, with three prizes: (1) and (2) refund of the $ 10 entry free; (3) free entry to a future practica.

Sunday, April 15, 2012
Milonga Roko @ Manhattan Ballroom Dance.  I got there late, and saw that the lesson was very leader-heavy.  So I jumped right in, even though there was only about another 15 minutes to go. The lesson was on ocho-parada variations, and had a lot of detailed technical points with respect to the lead for it.  Robin taught the lesson, and it was a good one as usual.  The milonga was not as full as it usually is, on account of lots of locals being in New Haven for the Yale Tango Festival.  Stevie wanted me to go, but it was closed to Followers by the time I wanted to sign up, way late earlier in the week.  But I am sure he had plenty of people to dance with since the Leaders were all at Roko.  I volunteered for a double shift at Roko since many of the usual volunteers were also in New Haven.  I danced with a few new people and had a good time overall.  

One guy asked me to dance, and I had danced with him once in the past and had an absolutely miserable time at a milonga where there were no cortinas (so the "tanda" was painfully long until I finally got up the nerve to say "thank you.").  I had uncabeceo'd him, but he insisted on planting himself directly in front of me and asking me directly verbally if I wanted to dance.  So I said no thanks, eye to eye, with no excuse.  The reason why I had a miserable time that first time was because he was completely oblivious to the music, to the other dancers, and to me as a follower. I felt like he threw me around the dance floor, using me to show off his fancy moves (which were poorly executed).  But most of all it was clear to me he was completely oblivious to the music and other dancers.  And I am at the point in my tango life where I'd rather sit out a tanda than suffer through one where I'd be miserable and angry at him and at me for not declining. It's clear from his self-confidence that he thinks he's a great dancer. 

That all being said, my last tanda of the night was with a beginner.  I have seen him for months, as it was striking in the beginning just how painfully bad he was. But man, he has stuck to it.  And you can just see in his essence that he really loves tango and that he is determined to improve.  He has worked extremely hard these last few months, and has gotten to the point where he doesn't completely suck.  Granted, he is still a year or two away from being good, but he is reasonably musical, and very respectful of his partners and the other dancers.  When we accidentally bumped into another couple, not only did he acknowledge them, but he sincerely apologized to them too! So I tried to follow his lead as best I could, and I did reasonably well despite his hesitations at times. I tried to perfectly follow everything he led without any extraneous embellishments. He seemed very appreciative that I had danced with him, and I found him to be a very pleasant, polite person.  Granted, the dance did not knock my socks off, but I think he is a nice addition to the NY tango community, with the potential to be great one day (years down the road).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Vintage Milonga in White Plains with lesson beforehand by Ney Melo and Rosa Corisco.  What a treat to be able to take lessons from Rosa!  I think I had only experienced her teaching once before, and I found her to be a good teacher, though her partner at the time had a larger presence in the instruction.  Tonight’s lesson was on milonga. 

Maestro’s philosophy is that the Leader moves the Follower with his embrace, his body, so he needs to move the Follower, not just his own body. (He compared this to a lot of teachers on the West Coast, who advocate more of an opening up of the space to allow the Follower to move into it).

There is not a lot of cross-system footwork in milonga, most of it occurs in parallel system (mirror image). 

We first did the 6CB milonga box, with our goal to find the beat of the milonga music.  Maestra taught the Follower’s adorno of the tap in between the steps of the milonga box, using either our toe or our heel.  Our goal was to find where we felt comfortable and not be in the Leader’s way when we adorned.  We did this to milonga lisa time (SSSS). 

Next we worked on milonga traspie timing, speeding up and doing QQQQ at some points, in the context of the Follower’s left foot front cross, right foot weight change, left foot side step, right foot weight change, left foot back cross, right foot weight change step (and Leader doing his front, side and back steps with his right foot, with his left foot doing the subsequent weight change).  When doing milonga traspie, or anywhere where there is QQ, take shorter steps because the step is not about the length, it’s about the rhythm. Maestra taught the Follower adorno in this traspie front-cross, back-cross step of doing a right foot beat against the left foot, which can occur on the left foot back step and also on the left foot forward step.

Then we added a change of direction, with the leader leading it by doing a right foot back step, left foot side step, turning the Follower, and stepping forward with his right foot.  We drilled this, along with the other steps we learned (milonga box, and traspie timing with front cross, open, and back cross), with a focus on the musicality, really trying to hit the rhythm especially during the variacion.  Our goal was to have our upper bodies be quiet (still, steady), and our lower body moving (somewhat chaotically, but controlled). 

Maestro mentioned that a lot of beginner dancers dance with a lot of elaborate, showy steps like ganchos, boleos, etc.,  throwing it all out there at the beginning. He said that more experienced dancers save their energy and wait until near the end of the song to do more elaborate steps.

It was an excellent class, and lucky for us we were perfectly gender balanced.  I had a good time.

The milonga was nice, not particularly from a dance perspective (though I had some decent tandas), but it was super fun catching up with Maestra, who currently lives in Spain but was visiting NYC. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012
Mariela Franganillo’s practica at Dance Manhattan.  I got there early, as I wanted to get in as much dancing as possible since I missed the last couple of weeks.  Many of my usual favorites were not there, but that was OK. I got to dance with some new-to-me dancers, so that was fun.  The weather has been unseasonably warm, and this facility gets to be more humid than I would like. Still, the dance quality is nice and the floor crafting better than at many milongas, despite it being a practica.  So I keep going, despite my (and others’) perspiration issues.

I tried to sign up for Monica Paz’s Saturday workshops, but they were already full. These were the topics:
3:00PM-4:15PM Dynamics, changing of energy
4:30PM-5:45PM “Cadencia”, Simplicity and Sophistication

Apparently, Maestra comes to town about once a year, and has for a while, so she has a nice local following.  I was told by several different dancers whom I admire that she was an excellent teacher. So my curiosity was piqued.  They had room for me on Sunday though…

Sunday, April 22, 2012
Monica Paz workshops at Champion’s Studio in NYC:
3:00PM-4:15PM Musicality, Interpretation of different orchestras
4:30PM-5:45PM “Pivot” dissociation and timings

Musicality, Interpretation of different orchestras Workshop
Maestra is known for being a milonguero teacher, so the emphasis is on connection and musicality.  Tango is connection, with our partner, and with the music.  The connection with the partner (the embrace) changes with the style of tango you are dancing.  In the milonguero style, the Follower’s left arm is parallel with the Leader’s shoulder, and her right arm is perpendicular to the floor.  This is so that the connection is all in the chest, and not in the arms.

In terms of music, there is the beat, the double beat, or the half beat.  All are correct. With respect to the timing and length of steps>
Regular beat: regular length
Faster beat (double time): shorter step
Slower beat (half time) : longer step

We walked individually around the line of dance to a song doing regular time (regular beat).  At the points during the slower beat (longer time), we need better balance because we stay on one leg for a much longer time.  When walking, the focus on the foot should be at the big toe (inner ball of foot), so knees will naturally come together and be more elegant. 

For the Follower, it is especially important that she stay in one line. When the Follower is precise with her footwork and stays on point (her feet are very close together at the point of transferring weight from one side to the other or when her feet pass each other) when she dances, when the dancers are in a small space, the Leader has mores possibilities to move and shift her or to move around her.

We walked individually to two different songs, both DiSarli, but one more rhythmic, and one more melodic.  We noticed that in both songs, there is still the beat. However, when walking with the melody, the movement is slower, with the opportunity to do interesting pauses.  We then worked on musical phrasing, with our goal to know when it’s the correct place in the music to stop.  Maestra demonstrated musical phrasing to a song showing us the melody, starting at the beginning of a phrase, and stopping a little bit before the end of the phrase. 

When we start dancing tango, we dance to the rhythm.  But at some point it has to change, where we can express with the melody.

If you pay attention to the dancing at Buenos Aires milongas, when the crowd moves at the same time, where everyone steps at the same time, and stops/pauses at the end of a phrase.

All songs have both rhythm and melody.

Next, in partnership, we danced doing simple things, even just walking was fine. Our goal was to try to dance the melody, and perhaps doing back ochos in double time during the rhythmic portions of the music.  It’s not how many steps you do, but it is very important to do it according to the music.

Next, dancing to the melody, at the slow portions of the music, the half time, we shouldn’t collect immediately (or go fast into the cross), but move in slow motion. We were to practice doing other things in half time, such as shifting of the weight, or just stretching everything out in slow motion to wait for the musical phrase to complete.  If a musical pause is long, then you can do more than one weight shift in place.  The important thing is the weight change transition, with our goal not to be flat, but more circular in our movement (as in doing ochos).  Here, the Follower needs to have a relaxed chest and the Leader has to have circularity in his chest rotation.

To work on melody, we danced to Pugliese.  Pugliese is harder to dance to because there are pieces of the song where there is only melody.  The melody can be expressed in the upper body, with walking, shifting of weight, and with pauses. What’s important is to have feeling in our bodies.

Next, we worked on rhythm, dancing to Biagi, with the step of the Leader going outside, then doing a left foot rock forward and back, and then coming back inside, giving more energy.  Our goal was to do this step with the musical phrase.  Leader and Follower should both keep their chests with forward intention, even when you are pressing forward.

Next we worked on what Maestra calls “Pendulum Intention”.  It is one of the most difficult things to master.  The feeling is more like a “U” or “UU” energy, where we are not flat.  We need to relax our knees.  The step she showed to illustrate it was a very simple one, just a side, together, back, brush, and continuing it.  The Leader’s intention can be exaggerated in his shoulders and torso to get the “U” feeling. When the Leader goes up, it’s not a stressed weight super up sharply movement. (That would be too much.)  The knees are soft, because tango is grounded.

Next we tried this Pendulum Intention in forward and back steps (earlier one was a side and back step), where the Leader walks on the inside, so that the Follower’s right foot takes the spot where the Leader’s left foot was.  This is easier to do with short steps.

This was an excellent lesson.

“Pivot” dissociation and timings Workshop
Pivots are like the choke on a manual car: you can use it to dance or not. 

To pivot, we should generate energy from our chest so that the direction of the step changes.  We create energy in our upper body to create the pivot as a consequence.

We began with very simple walking, and then pivoting at the end of the phrase, with the goal of starting our pivots with the change in energy and direction of our chest.

Our focus of the class was actually the Leader’s pivot, first beginning with the Leader being in a good position to do the pivot when he leads the Follower into the cross.  For the Follower, the weight should be on the balls of her foot.  Maestra’s style is that her heels never touch the ground (there is no weight on her heels).  To be always ready to pivot, the Follower’s weight should always be on the ball of her foot. The Follower should always try to brush her ankles and knees together to look elegant and to keep her balance.

For the Leader, to generate intention to move, he should go down and forward, down to generate intention, and to pivot also.  He should use momentum to do the pivot.  The pivot has to be at the time he does the step.

In crowded milonga conditions, the Leader can lead pivots from his chest (not from/with his arms) on rhythm, or with the melody on the musical phrase.  The Follower will pivot all the time as long as there is rotation in the Leader’s chest.

For the Follower, when she goes into the cross, she should pass with the knee first, then the foot, for more sensual elegant, rather than schlumping flatly into the cross with just her foot. 

It is harder to pivot in slow motion, but the Follower has to do it at the same time as the Leader moves his chest.

Next, we worked on the ocho cortado, with the Leader’s left foot pivoting on his right side open step to get his weight in the middle (split weight, 50%/50%). Otherwise, if the Leader doesn’t pivot, his weight will stay on his left foot.  Then he pivots back.  Follower also pivots with Leader.  We drilled doing the ocho cortado in a melodic, slow way, changing it so that the Leader slowly rotates his chest from his open side step to get the Follower back into her cross.  This is a slow motion step and the Follower should follow the rotation in the Leader’s chest and not be ahead of what his chest is doing.

Remember, the intention of the pivot is created by the Leader creating the energy in his chest rotation (not his arms) and relaxing his knees. 

We can dance with the rhythm or the melody, but the important thing is to enjoy the music.  Try to listen to tango music with lots of singing as it will make it more clear where the musical phrases are, and when the phrases are over.  We translate these musical phrases into our body, into our dancing. Don’t forget tango is about connection: to our partner and to the music.

This was an excellent lesson.

Other thoughts on the Monica Paz workshop experience:

Many of the students had attended her Saturday workshops except me and few other students.  This was the first non-Homer non-premilonga workshops I had taken in NYC.  What was striking about it was that the Leaders all seemed to be very good to excellent, and all students understood the tango individual instruction given in Spanish (the main instruction was in English).  So I was extremely impressed by the Leader level in terms of dance and in dedication to learning tango to the extent that many became somewhat bilingual (at least when it came to tango instruction in Spanish).  It kind of made me kick myself for not going to more local workshops to learn with these excellent Leaders.

Roko Milonga at Manhattan Ballroom Dance.
Our lesson began with the Leader exploring moving his axis to get the Follower’s foot/leg to move.  So the Leader moves his body forward to move the Follower’s leg back.  The Follower should keep her standing, supporting knee soft and flexed while the reaching leg is straight and extending.  This way the Follower has a long line. The Leader should not lean forward and tilt his whole body, but move his axis forward from his hips all the way up.

We drilled the concept while the Follower did back ochos going through space (not just side to side, but slightly forward).  The Leader takes a step to try to get the Follower to extend her leg.  The Follower should be strong and solid on her standing leg (with knee bent), keeping the area stretched between her ribs to her toes.  The Leader should have minimal chest pivot so that the Follower does not pivot too much when doing her ochos.

We continued our exploration of changing the Leader’s axis to move the Follower’s leg with the Leader trying to lead the Follower to extend her leg back periodically by stopping moving, and then moving his axis to send her leg back.  We further worked on this exercise with the Leader just trying to play with moving the Follower’s leg (causing her to extend her leg by changing his axis). 

The Follower should be a super high performance, with 1:1000 energy amplification in terms of the Leader’s axis movement to her foot/leg extension.  Follower should have a bit of turnout and do a tight cross, so the Leader should lead a tight cross.

Next, we built on the axis change, Follower foot leg extension in the context of no-pivot ochos, with the goal of the Leader leading the Follower’s right foot to cross behind the left foot.  The Leader does this by moving his body forward, a bit to the side, and then slightly diagonally back.  These types of no-pivot ochos were the first types of ochos.  These no-pivot ochos could also be an entrance into the ocho cortado, and they can also be stacked with the Leader stepping back and diagonally away. He can also try linking the back cross with front crosses.

It was a good lesson.

Since I had volunteered for two shifts at the prior week’s milonga, I was off tonight and was able to dance the night away.  It was crowded but not horrendously full as it was raining cats and dogs outside.  I had a good time, dancing with several new people as many of my usual favorites were not around tonight. I got a chance to dance with a couple of people who had attended Maestra’s workshops earlier in the day, so that was fun.


In case y’all are wondering why I’ve kind of been slacking with keeping up this blog, it’s because life has a way of intruding on our hobbies.  Seriously though, I’ve had to really concentrate on my career, which now entails learning a brand new area. This blog started at a time when I was doing very little in the way of reading and being involved in the creative process with respect to painting with words, getting the subtle nuances of meaning, while ensuring accuracy and conveying logical thought.  So in a way, the blog was a way of keeping me in shape, mentally and careerwise.  Since I am now back to reading for a living, and doing all those things, I find it more difficult to get motivated with writing.

Still though, I need to get back into shape with respect to taking notes since Homer & Cristina are coming back to the East Coast next month (May 11-12 Providence, RI & May 18-20 Northampton, MA) with some exciting new content that will be taught. So I am excited about that, and need to get ready for that.

And, lucky for me, in June I will be going to a festival where I will work on what I love best, with the Maestra I’ve been absolutely dying to take lessons from.  So I am super super super excited about that!!! And I plan on recording practically every single word that comes out of her mouth.  They say she is a very tough (among the toughest) Maestras out there, which means she is probably brilliant!!! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

February 21 - March 31

I was away on vacation in late February/early March, and while the place I went to had tango, the directions were something like: "Take the subway to XYZ station, leaving from exit #5. Walk 5 minutes until you get past the Dunkin' Donuts, and we are three storefronts past it. Go down two flights of stairs and down a long corridor. Ours is the second door on the left." So it was just way too complicated to get to, in the dark of the night, so I didn't go dancing at all, despite schlepping some dresses and tango shoes to the other side of the planet.

Saturday, March 17, 2012
It seemed every Irish person in the tri-state area was on the train into NYC. Still, I decided to brave the crowds and go into town anyway with the goal of hitting three milongas.

Mariela Franganillo’s La Practica at Dance Manhattan

It was a lovely afternoon, as usual. I got to dance with some of my favorite leaders, though the warmish weather made things a bit humid.

Afternoon Milonga at Triangulo
I spent the couple hours in between milongas just wandering and shopping. At the milnoga, I met and danced with a beginner who shows lots of excellent potential, so that was exciting and inspiring. During the milonga, I tried to just stay curled up in the corner and not dance too much, since I wanted to save my energy for the La Argentina Milonga @ Dardo Galleto, but people kept dragging me onto the dance floor. So it was fun, but very exhausting and by the end of the milonga, my feet felt like raw bloody stumps. So I was just too dog tired after that to make my way over to Dardo.

I really need to rethink the Saturday tango thing. On one hand, I adore Mariela's practica. But on the other hand, I get too exhausted staying in the city either shopping or dancing at Triangulo (or both), so that by the time the night milonga rolls around, I have absolutely no mental or physical energy left.

Sunday, March 18, 2012
Roko Milonga.
I skipped the lesson, but had a great time dancing and volunteering. I met a new-to-me dancer, who has been part of the community for years, then left, and is now back. He's a great dancer, and we are well suited in height, so we have a lot of fun on the dance floor.

Sunday, March 25, 2012
Roko Milonga.
The lesson focused on connection and the ocho cortado. I had a great time dancing and volunteering. Stevie from San Francisco was there, so it was nice to see a friendly face. He’s improved a lot since I last danced with him! And lucky for the NY and CT tangueras, he will be here for couple more weeks!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Milonga in White Plains
with lesson beforehand by Ney Melo.
Vintage Milonga with lesson beforehand by Ney Melo in White Plains, NY ($17 for lesson, milonga, and light buffet dinner). Since I don't know the area very well, I circled for parking, completely missing the fact that there was a municipal lot right across the street. Then I had to dig around my purse for enough change to feed the meter until 9 pm. I didn't quite have enough, but decided to take my chances. Vintage is a nice restaurant with a bar, and a separate room in the back where the tango event was taking place. The room was very spacious, with a nice hardwood (maybe high quality Pergo?) floor, high ceilings with a copper-painted faux tin ceiling) and contemporary lighting. There was ample seating and tables on the edge of the dance floor, and at the front part of the room where people could comfortably eat dinner. The full bar and attentive bartender was there to satisfy people's lust for libations (wines were $5-7, bottled water $2, beer $?, cocktails $?).

I had already eaten dinner, so didn't want to partake in the light buffet of Italian food (the main dish was a very thin slice of meat [I think] rolled with ricotta inside, then baked in a cheesy tomatoey sauce, with sides of steamed mixed veggies heavy on the carrots, cheesy rigatoni, mixed green salad, bread and butter). But the bartender was kind enough to give me a small to-go container so that I could enjoy the fare at a latter time. Other Followers had decided to sit out the lesson as well, and they were having dinner and wine.

For the lesson, there were more Followers than Leaders so I decided to just watch and take notes, especially since I got there a little late. The lesson focused on the rhythm of tango, with the Follower's adorno of tap footwork in the cha cha cha rhythm. Maybe the Leader had cha cha cha footwork too, but I wasn't paying close enough attention. Ney was assisted by Viktoria, the lovely and friendly co-hostess of this event. They did a lot of drilling to D'Arienzo's Pensalo Bien, with the Leader leading the Follower to do forward steps, and the Follower embellishing with cha cha cha footwork. Maestro made the point that you can't adorn if you are not on balance, and that the whole lean thing was BS. He also commented that there are two points of embrace in tango: (1) the head and chest area and (2) the Follower's right hand in the Leader's left hand. The students also worked on going in to the cross, and the Followers were instructed to really make the Leader block your cross by him going inside. The Leaders and Followers were all to be on the beat, and not rush into the cross (as is done by a lot of dancers, but is incorrect). Then they added the Follower cha cha cha adorno footwork as she is in the cross. Maestro said that at the point of the cross, it is a ball of foot to ball of foot technique (not flat footed on either foot). Again, they spent a lot of time drilling to Pensalo Bien, for the Follower to get used to doing the cha cha cha in her cross.

Then, to work on the concept of realizing how much time we have in the cross, the music was changed and we were to dance plain vanilla to Remembranzas.

Then, to work on our connection and embrace, there was a class exercise with men in circle formation in the middle of the dance floor facing out, and the women rotating among them, embracing them only with eyes closed and no steps. This is for the men to realize that the Follower IS a woman, and the Follower to really embrace the Leader with an attitude of no foolishness, ad we are going to be on the beat, and he is going to take care of me. So Maestro put on the music, and the couples embraced for about 20 seconds, and then switched partners so that all dancers had a chance to embrace different people with different physical characteristics and be open and accepting of them.

Next week, the lesson topic will be: "The Secret of Love, Life, and Relationships" and at the milonga we will celebrate Maestro's birthday.

It struck me once again how Maestro is an excellent teacher, teaching real, fundamental tango concepts like connection, musicality, physical expression, and women having a voice in shaping the dance, much like those concepts strongly emphasized by Los Dinzel. There are some teachers who just teach steps, while other teachers truly teach you how to dance. I believe Ney is in the latter camp (along with Los Dinzel).

The milonga itself was fun and entertaining. There was a raffle with three prizes: (1) brunch for 2 at Vintage; (2) a bottle of LoTengo wine; (3) a bottle of Sensual wine. Though there were more Followers than Leaders, I didn't mind sitting out as much as I did, as my time warming the bar stool was punctuated with some very nice tandas, with Maestro (fantastic!) and Carlos the organizer (also fantastic!) and a few locals from the community.

I am kicking myself that it took me so long to make it to this event, as it fun and an excellent value. But it's great that they had Maestro there as that was the final pull that I needed to get me out of the house on a Wednesday night. Thankfully, this event happens very efficiently at the dinner hour (and includes the buffet), and ends around 10 pm, so getting up refreshed and inspired the next day was not a problem. Carlos and Viktoria are wonderful hosts, with Carlos having a very busy night dancing with all the ladies so that no one felt left out.

Saturday, March 31, 2012
All Night Milonga at Stepping Out.
I don’t usually go to this milonga, but since I had a dinner engagement beforehand that was somewhat nearby, I decided to give it another go. It was full, but not insanely crowded, which was nice. Still, it got quite warm in the main room, which means I spent most of my time in the now-larger alt room. I had a good time in that room since the fan was blowing, and several windows were open, letting in the refreshingly cool night air. Stevie was there, too, so we had a nice time dancing. I also had a chance to dance lots of alt tandas with dancers I usually dance traditional with, so that was a nice change. I was stuffed from dinner, so didn’t even look at the snacks table. There were shoes for sale, and they included a brand I had heard of, but not personally checked out in BsAs: Soy Porteno. The shoes appear to be well made and style wise comparable to NeoTango, so I think they are worth tracking down in BsAs on a future trip. Here’s their web site: , which shoes an address in BsAs of Adolfo Alsina 1886, so it appears to be nearish La Vikinga.