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Showing posts from July, 2009

Good company, excellent music, enjoyable dancing

To follow on from the last post - last night I had a most enjoyable milonga, as I often do at the Bondi Junction Tango Encanto milonga. The music is excellent - DJ Raul has a great collection of the tango greats, some superb Di Sarli that I have still to add to my library and Alfredo Gobbi as well. He plays three pieces to a tanda, which I applaud as I believe that it gives dancers a chance to change partners more frequently - or to stay together for 6 instead of 8 songs. The company is mostly more experienced dancers and though not everyone knows each other it is not unusual to be asked to dance by a stranger - which happened for me last night and was most enjoyable. And it has a warm friendly ambience - and no chacarera (which is just a personal dislike of mine at milongas, others love it!). And a bonus last night - more men than women!
Of course every milonga has its ups and downs as far as crowds go, but this one is definitely one of my favourites.

What do you love about tango?

This morning one my sons popped in for a chat - and we talked about what makes you happy (we've had a rotten year - with the loss of 2 members of our family, sickness and financial woes so it seemed appropriate). Then I read Arlene's blog - Why People Leave Tango/Why People Love Tango... and it made me think that we (myself included) gripe about the tango scene, but we hang in there. Why?
I stay because of music - then the dance!; the opportunity to do something with my partner that we both love; the friends I have made and the new ones I hope to make; the chance to get dressed up and wear beautiful shoes....
Why do you love tango?

New playlist for Gladesville milonga

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Tonight I am starting on the playlist for the Gladesville milonga on Saturday. Methinks 45 minutes of canyengue may be too much for most dancers though this was the suggestion at the workshop I went to on the weekend. Since the teacher of this workshop is not coming to the milonga as far as I know, I will keep it to two tandas. Not sure I enjoy dancing canyengue yet. Naturally a tense person, I find I am holding myself in an awkward position - though I do enjoy the music. Just like all tango - it needs practice, practice, practice.
- Love to have more comments on the championship too. Some people have told me what they think but haven't entered the debate! Pity because I think it really needs serious discussion.

Championship de-brief

It's over for another year, the Australian Tango Championship finals took place last night in Sydney and now Australian tango dancers know who the winners are. Both the couples who won are professional tango dancers who make their living from dancing and teaching tango - the couple who came third are a young couple I watched with admiration on the floor at the Wellington festival. Sadly once the competition was opened to professionals it was obvious that amateur couples would not - and could not win, something which you may feel strongly about.
I can now come clean and say that I did not approve of this year's event - partly because they mixed professionals with amateurs. Although it had an army of enthusiastic and well-intentioned volunteers it did not do what I believe it should do which is showcase tango to the general community. There was no publicity outside the tango world - certainly not in the entertainment or media press, or even the Latin American media. Plus which it…

Swine flu and tango in Buenos Aires

Argentina has been severely affected by swine flu - known as Gripe A in BsAs. I am delighted that I have persuaded one of my regular correspondents in Argentina to write a report on how it is affecting the milongas - and the dancers in Buenos Aires.

Championship tango - to be or not to be

As the weekend of July 11 draws closer most of the chatter at milongas or gatherings of tango friends is about the Tango championship - are you dancing/going, or aren't you? and the community in Sydney seems to be divided - as our poll is showing. (If you haven't voted please do).
And the conversations are buzzing with
discussions about professional versus amateur
I am wondering how many people have actually read the conditions of entry - and how many of those who are dancing in the salon section have declared themselves as professionals. A conversation I had last night (not at a tango event) with a dancer revealed that there are many Sydneysiders who had entered the salon section who according to the rules would be professionals not amateurs. The rules state that an amateur is :
"Any social tango dancer, who has not derived income from teaching private tango lessons, group tango lessons (including workshops) or has not given paid performances. Please note, if it is later re…

How I could have spent some of the Ozlotto win on tango!

Just like everyone else (bar the two lucky ones) in Oz today life will go on as normal - without the $106 million that was the latest Oz Lotto prize. Of course just like everyone else who had fantasised about winning - i had a few priorities and one of them was tango. I would have bought a venue in Sydney where tango could be danced regularly until the late hours - Melbourne has them why don't we? I would have brought out some great tango musicians to play in the venue ...and I would spent a heap on shoes! and a lot more besides. Had I won even some of the $106 million - I would have had no trouble getting rid of a some of it on tango. I am quite awe-struck at the amount of money that is going into tango in Sydney at the moment - and at the number of people who appear to have no trouble finding the dollars to spend on it. The GFC does not seem to have hit many tango dancers - which is good news for the organisers.

My tango budget is pretty tight and it means that I am often not ab…