Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Short Film About Love & Tango

I stumbled upon this adorable short film by a tango couple today.

The video was shot at the South Street Seaport by Pier 16. It really brought back fond memories of last summer for me. The relaxing atmosphere attracted dancers of all levels and all ages. Most people dressed casually, some wore dance sneakers and I opted for tango shoes with a slightly chunkier heel. No matter how practical it may seem..... I'm just not a sneaker girl. So ladies, please leave your stilletos at home. Your heels will definitely get stuck in the gaps between the old wooden planks.

I think this historic waterfront is the perfect backdrop for a milonga. The old ships... the smell of salty air... and especially when the DJ plays earlier recordings, it can really transport you back in time.

Tango Porteno should start again sometime in May and we'll be checking the schedule on Richard Lipkin's website.

(BTW, you can spot Malena dancing in this video.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Places we'd like to tango

The Airport
We thought of this one on our way back from Buenos Aires while waiting for our flight. We just might have to write the (Ezeiza) Ministro Pistarini International Airport and suggest a Tango Lounge. Last tanda in Buenos Aires anyone?

The Grand Central Terminal
Ahh.. the hustle and bustle. Wouldn't it be beautiful to dance to a live tango orchestra playing in that grand space?

Subway platforms
I'm usually listening to tango on my ipod waiting for the train. While trying hard not to let my foot tap too much, I often think to myself... "If only I can find a tanguero right now, I would totally do it right here."

The Yoga Studio
I love yoga but I can't help thinking about tango everytime I see that perfect wooden floor with candles lit in all corners.

I must admit... I will never look at another shopping cart the same way again... thanks to that italian short film Perdizione.

The Staten Island Ferry
Trip time: Approx. 25 minutes. That should be enough time for a couple of tandas... right?

The Boardwalk at Sunset
Who wouldn't love to tango with the warm ocean breeze?

The Empire State Building Observatory
Imagine tangoing on top of the world.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I need to dance

I need to dance because I had a stressful day at work.

I need to dance because I'm feeling lonely.

I need to dance because I want to feel the power of zen.

I need to dance because I want to practice what I'd just learned.

I need to dance because I'm feeling rusty.

I need to dance because I just had a fight with my lover.

I need to dance because I want to breath in the different scents of random men.

I need to dance because I want to let my inner diva come alive.

I need to dance because I want to feel sexy.

I need to dance because I want to live in the moment.

I need to dance because I need a hug.

I need to dance because I want to feel the warmth of a stranger's body press against me.

I need to dance because I need to be someone else for a while.

I need to dance because I need to in a room filled with tango music.

I need to dance because I feel like crying.

I need to dance because I just want to forget.

I need to dance because I need to break in a new pair of CIFs.

I need to dance because I want to feel beautiful.

I need to dance because I just bought a new tango dress.

I need to dance because I know he's going to be there.

I need to dance because I want to feel him adjusting his embrace mid-dance so he can hold me closer.

I need to dance because I could use the exercise.

I need to dance because I want to meet "the others".

I need to dance because it makes everything more beauti-full.

I need to dance because this is my life now.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A book, ideas of freedom and tango championships

A friend of mine mentioned a book that appears to be quite popular, "The Four Hour Workweek" by the guy who wrote the blog post "How to live like a rock star in BsAs". I hadn't heard of it, but I stopped by the bookstore today and picked up a copy. The concept is that if you regroup your views of life and manage to conquer you fears, or unplug and reset as the author defines it, you can escape the 9-5 grind and do anything you want anywhere you want to do it.

At first I thought, oh great, yet another self-help book that offends intelligence more than it achieves anything else. However, was it because the author turns out to be a BsAs Tango World Championship winner, the whole idea started to resonate with me (funny how any life change plan I would consider at this point has to involve the prospect of being able to dance as much as my heart desires...)

As I am reading the first few chapters, it almost sounds doable, until the the necessity to be reasonable and 'realistic', with which we have been programmed, hits. I sure do hope that one day I will have the strength to pause this pseudo-reality and go... And to all of those that have actually challenged themselves and followed their bravest dreams, my admiration!

Inspirational read so far. What I found interesting, however, was that Timothy Ferriss, an American, had only danced tango for a year before he won the competition. Guys, is this possible?? I am not doubting it, but just a year?! Here is a video from the event:

And btw, the whole idea of a tango championship seems odd, doesn't it? Since tango is nothing else more than it is a passion, how do you judge a feeling...

I missed you all and Besos,


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Otros Aires in Canada

We got an email from our friend Andy Kamienski several weeks ago. He is a teacher specializing in close embrace at El Abrazo (Toronto), DJ and organizer of TangoLoft, a monthly milonga in Toronto, Canada.

We met in Buenos Aires back in Nov and had one of the most beautiful tandas at an alternative milonga at Saloon Canning. This is very exciting news ... he is bringing one of my favorite electronic tango bands Otros Aires to Toronto on April 26th and 27th. Malena and I will try our best to be there.

Here's some info if you're interested in attending.

Otros Aires Concert & Dance
Saturday April 26, 2008 9:00pm
The Dovercourt House
805 Dovercourt Road
Toronto, Canada

Sunday April 27, 2008 8:30pm
Lula Lounge
1585 Dundas St. W
Toronto, Canada

$45.00 at the door (if available)

For physical tickets or information please call Andy at (416) 767-0033
or email us at info@tangoloft.ca

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

To new beginnings...

"How do you do an ocho again?", I asked Malena. "Oh stop! It’s like riding a bike... you never really forget." she tells me. We hadn't danced for two and a half months. I can hardly recall the warmth of the tango embrace. The excitement and joy I once felt seemed to have abandoned me back in Dec. Dancing tango was always my escape from reality. For the past 16 months, it'd been my way of life. So when I woke up on that cold winter morning and didn’t feel that urge to dance, I was confused and sad.

I tried going to a few milongas but had the most miserable time. I sat most of these evenings with only 2 to 3 invitations. Perhaps it was self manifestation or maybe I was dancing like Elaine from that Seinfeld episode and didn't know it. It brought back bad memories of high school dances; all dressed up and sitting pretty. The boys giving me the "once-look-over" then rejected me for the prettier girl next to me. It didn't seem to make any sense. I hadn't felt this level of rejection before, except for that one bad night with the tan-ego. For the past year, I rarely ever sit for more than a tanda. I've danced with many tangueros, from true beginners to seasoned instructors. What's puzzling to me is that I was asked to dance more often as a beginner than I do now with a little more skills under my belt. Malena and I tried to come up with some explanations. A) We appear to be snotty because we are often engrossed in conversation and may have appeared at times not interested in dancing. B) We danced too many tandas with certain individuals and they may have appeared as our exclusive partners. C) We haven't been going to milongas as much as we use to. It will take some time for people to warm up to us again, the old and new faces.

We decided mid-week to venture out to the Yale Festival for the All Night Milonga. Malena was very excited. The first words out of her mouth were... "OMG we have to try this pizza!!!" Apparently, she had watched a special on the food network about New Haven's two famous pizzerias Sally's and Frank Pepe's. We checked into the hotel around 6pm then set out to find Sally and Frank. We drove by Sally's and there was already a long line outside the restaurant, so we moved onto Frank's, which was two blocks down the road. Line was slightly shorter there. "Frank Pepe it is!" I honestly didn't think I’d ever wait more than 30 minutes for dough, sauce and cheese but the wait proved to be worthwhile. The pizza was delicious, even though our waitress was a bit rude, she demanded to take our order immediately and rolled her eyes a few times when she realized we hadn't picked out our toppings.

On the way back to the hotel, we picked up a bottle of Veuve Cliquot. We had a glass then decided to take a nap before the milonga. When we finally woke up, it was 11:30pm. Still sleepy, we rushed to get ready. We asked the hotel concierge to direct us to the Harkness building (where the milonga was held). She gave us a map then off we went. We didn't realize at the time there were two different Harkness locations. We stumbled into an old building hoping to hear faint sounds of tango music... but nada. When I gently pushed the large wooden front doors and it swung open automatically. The loud sound of the door hinge squeaking echoed in the corridor. Not a soul in sight, it was now midnight. Out of nowhere I see a boy wearing a black hoody rushing out of the adjacent door. As he walked past me, I tried to stop him for directions. "Excuse me..... excuse me!", I hollered. As if he couldn’t hear me at all, he kept walking and disappeared though the door. I looked at Malena, "Hmm... I think we better get out of here!" We rushed back to the car and looked at the directions printed off the Yale Fest's site and realized we were on the other side of the campus.

By the time we arrived at the milonga, it was already 12:30pm. We were really hoping to escape the NYC tango scene but was a little disappointed to see many of the dancers there were from NYC. Not sure why we were surprised, New Haven is not that far away. My first dance was with a student from Yale. We shifted our weights for a few seconds preparing for our first step. He then paused and he said, "let’s start and take a step to the right." Bizarre! Is he planning to give directions throughout our dance?? Everything just went downhill from there... I soon learned after our first song, he's only taken a few classes and this was his very first milonga. He had a sweet round face with large brown eyes, so I decided to suffer through a second song before thanking him for the dance. Our dear TP came to the rescue soon after. It was comforting to see him. He always has a warm smile and his enthusiasm for tango is quite contagious. We chatted a little bit and we shared a few tandas. He inspired us to check airfare first thing this morning for OUR next BsAs pilgrimage.

So Malena and I sat watching the scene for a while. After 30 minutes went by without an invitation, we decided it's probably not going to get better. We left the milonga at 2:30am and tried to find a local bar to have a few drinks but nothing was opened. We went back to the hotel and finished our left-over pizzas and champagne. While watching the history channel, we dozed off to sleep.

During brunch the next morning, we decided to take group classes again to get back into the mix of things; with tango and the people of tango. Perhaps, this is all part of our tango journey and we're just entering into the next phase. A dancer must decide at some point whether to invest in further education and become better dancers or to stop learning because they feel they have sufficient skills to enjoy an evening of social dancing. Well, I am ready for the challenge of becoming a beginner all over again. Bring it on...