Showing posts from January, 2011

Dirge to Mis Amores?

Milonga de mis Amores is a piece I am very familiar with – it is our signature tune and we play it at the end of most of our milongas. Last night was the first time I had heard it played as a dirge! The slowest version I have is by Francisco Canaro recorded in 1937 which is played at 95 beats per minute – the version played by Fuego Lento  last night cannot have been more than about 70 - which completely destroyed the song's character  - maybe it is something to do with their name which means Slow Fire. Slow Fire are regular performers at the irregular milongas organized in Sydney the Sydney tango club, Tango Synergy. They are all good professional musicians, one I was acquainted with many years ago when he taught and performed in a jazz band with a member of my family, but tango musicians they are not. Their music sounds like they are rehearsing – and that they have never listened to a recording of the tango music from the Golden Age that we all love to dance to. Their repertoire …

TangoAustralia dancers raise $740 for Flood Appeal

What a buzz! Last night we ran our monthly Milonga de Mis Amores at the Gladesvillle RSL and after hearing so much about our fellow Aussies - including some dancers - suffering in the biggest floods in decades we decided that we would make it a fund-raiser. We put $4 from every entry into the Flood Appeal (we raised $224), plus we had a donation box ($84.05) and we created a few CDs which we sold ($60) - and we rounded it off to $370. We were delighted! But even more so when Francis, one of our favourite tangueras, told us that Woolworths were matching flood donations. So today we visited our local Woollies and deposited the $370 (see receipts) which will be doubled and given to the Salvation Army Flood Appeal! How good is that?
Thank you so much to all the dancers who came and enjoyed the music of our fabulous DJ Geoff, who has to have one of the very best collections of Golden Age and Old Guard music in Australia, munched on the lamingtons and alfajores and gave so generously - and t…

Friendly - and not so friendly tango

''You watched them on the dance floor to find out if they could dance, and if they couldn't you kept away" this person talking about a milonga floor?  no it is a comment from an 84 year-old in Thursday's Sydney Morning Herald about dancing at Sydney's Trocadero, a popular ballroom in the heart of town, that was sadly demolished in 1970. "You depended on your partner to make you look good. You were up there to show off": She is talking about dancing lindy hop, jive and swing in this glorious venue which operated from 1936, but the same applies to tango dancers - once you are past the beginner stage and consider that you can dance tango, you begin to check out the men as they dance, just in case they should ask you.
At a recent milonga however I was shocked when a friend who is considered a very good dancer, was told by a woman who considers herself a very good dancer, that she was not sure she wanted to accept his invitation because she hadn'…

Flood Appeal

The floods in Australia are spreading their tentacles into every corner of the lives of those who live in the affected areas. I have been to Brisbane many times but I just didn't think about the places that would have been affected This morning's paper reported on the State Library in Queensland and the Art Gallery and the media is bursting with stories about the horrors and disaster of the floods that are affecting not just Queensland, but NSW and Victoria. I just received an email from the TangoNuts in Queensland who are, of course, right in the middle of it and it galvanised me into sending a small donation from TangoAustralia to the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal. 
I have never seen the devastation such as we are being shown by the media, I have never smelt the stench that I am told comes after a flood of this kind, or known the despair of losing everything. I hope others will join in contributing something to this, and other appeals. I fouhd this video among…

Milonga at the Newcastle milonga

On Saturday after the workshops we explored the beaches of Newcastle then had a late siesta before getting ready for the milonga at night in the Adamstown Senior Citizens centre. From the outside this is an ugly brick and fibro building with one shade tree outside and bare, uninspiring buildings around it. Inside there is a good parquet floor, it is airconditioned and has the feeling of centre that is used and cared for by its owners. On Saturday night, Mauricio and Wendy of Ruedisima turned it into a milonga.
When we arrived about 90 minutes after official start the only others there were some of the Novocastrian dancers and a smattering of Sydney people, but within the hour a huge contingent of Sydney dancers arrived together with Jorge and Maria.
I wasn't expecting great things of the night, maybe one or two nice tandas and a chance to practise some of the things I had learnt that afternoon. But as the night progressed I was very pleased to be asked to dance by my regular part…

Very beautiful tango

Today I did two workshops in Newcastle with visiting teacher Jorge Dispari and his wife, Maria del Carmen Romero. This couple is visiting Sydney, running workshops and performing at milongas and we are truly lucky to have the opportunity to learn from them ( you'll find info on the TangoAustralia website). In the first workshop we walked. Jorge explained that he did not teach figures, he taught technique and that is what we did. It was hugely rewarding and very challenging. There is always more to learn about tango and big and little things one needs to work on and we worked hard. It was also very rewarding to be praised by the great master. He is an excellent teacher who does not stint on his praise! but both teachers are also quick to point out areas that need improvement.My partner and I were delighted to be told that we, especially he, danced beautifully with passion and that with some work on our technique we would be great!!
Floorcraft is not known to be good at Sydney milo…