New Zealand Tango Festival Day 1

Outside the air has a biting chill thanks to the polar front, but in the workshops at the New Zealand Tango Festival the air is buzzing with the warm bodies of dancers who are swapping accounts of the different workshops and practising their new skills. We arrived in Wellington, New Zealand's capital, yesterday and spent the day exploring the city, visiting the Botanic Gardens and riding on the public transport, but today we got down to business.
My first workshop was with Geraldin Rojas and Ezequiel Paludi and titled 'Fundamentals'. It is some time since I have done a tango workshop and I felt it was time to brush up on my technique and learn new skills. And I soon found a fundamental! Many years ago I had been told to keep my knees together - as if I was trying to hold a pill between my knees! I can't say I do this always but it has been behind much of my posture... time to forget this unnatural stance and learn to dance more fluidly. Time also to forget about one embrace and use the embrace that I am comfortable with - which isn't the one which, when done badly,looks like the woman is hanging off her partner's neck like a shoe bag!
In the afternoon I treated myself to two workshops by bandoneon play Joaquin Amenabar - and they were wonderful! Perhaps one of the most precious things I have taken about from these workshops is that when one sings as one dances one is forced to dance in time time with the music - simple commonsense so why haven't I twigged this before.
I'm going to put my feet up before tonight's milonga... then more workshops tomorrow.
The local dancers are warm and friendly natives - and there are plenty of familiar faces. The only thing about this Festival that's cold is the air outside!


Shayne said…
It sounds like you're having a wonderful time. Wish I was there. If it's any consolation, the weather here is wet and miserable.
Love your work!
Unknown said…
As one of the locals, I'd say that we're mighty flattered by the Australian interest in the NZ Festival. The key to the festival in its current format (having been to all of them) is that it is and will be based at Te Whaea, the NZ School of Dance, so there are at least 3 good large studios and one or two ratty ones to take all the simultaneous workshops. They all run off the one large foyer which also has a lunch time milonga on a good wooden floor. Yup, I did dance with some Aussies but we get stick from local women if we leave them unattended to.
Well Kenx1000 your Festival is great value - and you are right the venue is ideal - would be perfect if all the studios were as as good as each other. The central area where the free lessons are held is a fabulous meeting place. We Aussies did notice the locals sticking together... which was a bit of pity. But I loved the dance with a stranger at the Welcome night - and also at the Tango Ball! So perhaps a bit more of those, and maybe the other way round.

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