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Showing posts from August, 2009

New take on a tango shoe

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Last night I attended the official opening of an exhibition by tanguera and artist Ursula Kolbe at the Charles Hewitt gallery in Sydney. "When I remember you, beloved tango" is an exhibition of paintings and sculptures inspired by Ursula's love affair with tango over the past few years. If you expect paintings of couples dancing in the half-light of the milongas in Buenos Aires you will be surprised. These paintings are mysterious, reflecting the moods of tango, the words of tango songs and the feelings of this tango artist.
Taking tango shoes, much loved by local tangueras, but no longer worn, Ursula has brought her unique artistic skills to this new medium, provoking emotions that are, in some cases, quite confronting.
If you are in Sydney between now and 15th September do take the time to visit this exhibition - it will have you thinking about your tango experiences.
Charles Hewitt is at 335 South Dowling Street, Darling hurst. Hours are Mon-Sat. 10am to 6 pm.

Wish I was there... Tango Festival y Mundial de Baile 2009

It is with vicarious pleasure that I am following the Tango Festival in Buenos Aires - and here for the pleasure of others who cannot be there are some highlights.
It began on 14th August.
This video is a performance at the Teatro Avenida by Orquesta tipica El Porvenir, which is a youth orchestra made up of students from orchestras around the country and features Pablo Agri on the violin and dancers Gallo Ciego and Agustin Bardi.


I also found this video of Daniel Nacucchio and Cristina Sosa who danced on the 15th August. Many Australians will be know these dancers from their recent visit.

So much happening - check the program - and most of it is free. Our plan was to be there but circumstances prevented it so it is wonderful to be able to catch occasional highlights on Youtube. I'll post more as I find them.

musicality and intimacy or stunts and point-scoring

"What makes me wretched is that all these stunts, acrobatics, point-scoring and flashy displays of sexual availability are what matter. Musicality, phrasing, intimacy and actual sensuousness are what don’t." is the NY Times critic's summation of 'Burn the Floor' a dance performance in Manhattan choreographed by Australia's Jason Gilkison. I find his critique interesting as although I am constantly awe-struck at the acrobatics on shows such as 'So You Think You Can Dance' or the acrobatics performed as part of Stage Tango, I am rarely moved.
He does not enjoy the tango which he describes as using 'every mock-tango ballroom cliche' and describes the performances as degrading the women and making the men look 'crassly manipulative'.
Having not seen this show I can't add authoritative comments, but I do wonder where ballroom and tango are going... and what it will be like in 5 or 10 years time with shows such as SYTYCD promoting the stu…

Rejection and tango

If anyone has ever turned you down when you have asked for a dance at a milonga - without an explanation - you will have experienced some reaction... maybe it was 'what have I done?' 'don't they consider I'm good enough for them?' 'don't they want to be seen dancing with me?' it will be something that voice your feelings of inadequacy - as a dancer and perhaps also as a person. I rarely ask a man to dance, not because I fear rejection (though I do) , but because I get a real buzz out of being asked. This of course can mean that I often sit out much more than I would like to - even though I consider myself quite sociable.
Recently a male dancer I am close to was rejected by a younger woman dancer, someone who, up until then had been quite friendly. No reason given, just 'no thank you'. He was quite taken aback though this is not the first time he has been refused in the 8plus years he has been dancing - and more taken aback by the abruptness …

10 (11) Top milongas

I love dancing milonga... do you? I had enormous trouble finding 10 - as I love so many of them, so please forgive the omission of 'Ella es asi' - Donato, 'el esquinazo' - Di Sarli and 'La punalada' - D'Arienzo - among the more popular ones. A few months ago I had a conversation with a newish dancer who said he thought he had most of the milongas at 50! I said there were a few more and would he like a list? So when he said yes the next week I gave him a list of all the milongas in my music library(243) and said there were a few more than 50, but he wasn't pleased - now he doesn't speak to me! Oh the egos in tango!
If you have a favourite not on the list please add it below - I know I still have many more to collect! and it is great to know what people love to dance to