Wednesday, May 13

Crazy Week In London Tango!

London is getting very busy with tango these days.

There are so many planned events that it is getting difficult for many how and what to choose, where to go, and which ones to attend if we could survive this mid May clashes of programs.

The competition between organisers should pay dividend as far as the dancers are concerned. Perhaps everyone would benefit if there was more coordinated approach to organising some of the events but I am very doubtful if this happens!

This week we have major and entertaining evenings and events taking place between 13th to 17th May at the following:

...and these are just the ones with special programs in London for this week that stand out tall from the rest. There are many other of our regular venues running their normal evenings in and around London that the list can go on for some long time if we were to list them all.

We all have our favorites so good luck to all who can or try and make the most of all there is for this week alone!

I do hope that they ease off on the clashes of program planning so we can enjoy even more of some such treats.

The Only Cat Who Loves You Back!

Friday, March 27

Who Loves To See You!

It was last year, the place was The Corrientes and the time was one o’clock am exactly. The music suddenly stopped in the middle of the tanda. The organiser “Giraldo” put his head over the balcony above the dance floor and said “Sorry, times go forward, it is 2 o’clock and this is the last tango!” Well it was not, he was wrong but….!

Please note that the British Summer Time does changes at 2 am and NOT 1 am. That lack of attention is beside the point here because if it mattered to them then they would have found out such simple details.

As simple as that! The lights came on, music stopped and they started hurriedly gathering the glasses off the tables. Everybody was annoyed with the way it was done. No prior warning, signs, explanations or anything that indicated prior to 1 o'clock what was planned. In fact up to 12:25 people were still paying at the door and coming in. These included a few of my own friends who joined us thinking we’ll be dancing together till almost 2 am.

Tango dancers as a rule are very polite customers but some organisers see us: the customers, as an encumbrance and a burden!

It reminds me of the old ways some English Pubs and bars used to operate when they had to stop serving at 10:30. One could buy a drink or more at 10:25 but the pub owners wanted the customers OUT as immediately as possible past the 10:30!

The Corrientes has tried to improve and tidy up its act however it is still a far cry from its glory days many years ago. It became very careless with how it received everyone till there was a point in time about 4 years ago when it reached the bottom. I suppose once one gets there then the only way is up.

I hear also that the rude old woman collecting the money at door is no longer there. Many had expressed their opinions on how they found her most annoying and irritating with her personal remarks. I don’t think she had any idea how just incredibly rude she was to the paying customers. Thumbs up on not having a mad person at the door and it seems that the penny had finally dropped.

I must add that I have had some wonderful evenings over many years at the Corrientes. I attribute them mostly to the good company of friends and dancers whom I have been lucky to share my evening with.

Personally I only vote with my feet. Those who are glad to receive our custom should know that it matters if the place is clean, the hosts are polite and look as if they are glad to see us there.

I am not sure what The Corrientes is doing this time around as the clocks change again for the British summer time. I do however know that people did not get an extra hour when it was British Winter time change!

Regardless of these I shall be enjoying myself at the Crypt with The El Once Club de Tango this week. I know there is a warm welcome awaiting many with the lovely hosts Paul & Michiko from El Once Club whose care and concern for their guests has always been exemplary any evening of the year. Maybe other organisers should pop in from time to time to observe how good hosting is done!

The Only Cat Who Loves You Back!

Tuesday, March 24

The Woman, The Shoes & The Dress

One of the most frequent topics of conversations around the dance floor amongst female friend dancers is about Tango Shoes and/or dresses.

The topic is dominant to the extent that it may make some think the shoes feature themselves more obsessively in the thoughts of those friends dancing than the music or the dance itself.

Of course the quality and the elegance of the shoes worn by any dancer does have a direct correlation on how it makes the dancer feel. The Comfort and the confidence that arise from good shoes can be seen as undeniable need in a long evening of dancing however I believe this goes a little deeper.

The shoes are also seen to be representative of a dancer status in the community of dancers. The height of the heels, the intricacies of the design, the colour and type of material used they all lead to the views taken on how good the dancer must be in order to wear them.

Naturally the reverse is also true that if an inexperienced dancer wears a very noticeably "classy" pair of tango shoes then that dancer is allowing for many harsh comments and criticising looks and comments being received.

The magic combination of an elegant dress and some fancy pair of shoes attracts everyone's attention. Some have a lovely figure to match the deep pocket that the above attire may need while some don't know any better and end up looking similar to some wonderful decoration placed on a wedding cake that may be good to look at from distance but inedible and tasteless in closer examination.

I like to think that what attracts most good dancers to each other is the promise and joy expected from a moving embrace. The shoes and the dress are hardly noticed in a magical tango embrace. Still, if the shoes and the dress make you feel good, and you believe that it may make me feel good too then please do not hesitate.

The Only Cat Who Loves You Back!

Monday, March 23

A Tango For Peace

An attempt at translating an eastern tango song:
Glasses all empty;
Bottles are drunk and not even a drop is left inside.
There are no matches;
and if there is fire, the problem is: not having any cigarettes left.

The dawn is here but; the sky continues being dark,
maybe the last drink was spiked.

Here, since you left me behind,
my only friend has been the wine.
A picture frame standing on my table filled with blank,
the picture's gone,
It frames now the image of "An Empty".

I know -I loved you for an eternity,
but I can't even recall you by your name.

The glasses are empty and if there were gallons more to be drunk
- somehow I doubt that they would have been enough,
I remember you taking about Love
- even your love seemed greedy to me.

Misfortune does not just arrive when the pay is gone,
Life is somehow a kind of disaster when the best things in it are:
- Lies, Fictions or just Memories fading gradually, helped by wine.

"Well Done!", You have managed to be victorious in this War!
Can you tell me if you know what you wish to do with victory now?
I've surrendered - there are no grounds which I wish to fight you on -
Can you tell me now till when you intend to escape this Peace?

"A Tango song is always a Tango Song regardless of in which language it is sung!"

Thursday, February 19

Going To School!

It is easy to forget that dancing tango and the Milonga floors attract all sorts of people, some of whom we never meet in our other daily lives.

The other day I was having a discussion with a group of people who were having a break around the dance floor. The subject was butchered before too long. We had left the topic of "technique" and somehow had arrived at discussing the personalities involved. I walked away, preferring not to be further involved.

Later that evening taking the same route home to an underground train station I was joined by one individual whom I found objectionable with his unfair views on some teachers' personalities. In order to defuse the topic away from the earlier one I inquired what he was doing in London when not dancing the evenings away and the following is as best as I remember it.
- I go to school.. after school I come to dance...
- That is good, I am very interested to know more. Do you do research?
- Yes... I read...maths, business...
- I see ....Which school?
- London!
- London School of Economics? Are you doing an MBA?
- Yes School in London, they haven't told us all of it yet...
- Sorry it for a Ph.D.?
- ...They haven't told us that ...
- Is your research leading to a Master's degree or a PhD?
- I don't know yet, ... the school hasn't told us that
- I am bit confused now, please tell me mind my own business if you wish not to discuss your research ....but... you are reading maths and business in London School of Economics, right?
- Yes...I go to London.. reading
- ....
- ...
- ...
This went on for a while till I realised the mistake was mine! He is actually attending a school for adult education for learning basic maths and literacy courses. I wish him all the best with that.

What it highlighted however is that our assumptions about tango and our shared experiences with it do not also mean our personal experiences mean the same to all those involved. We exist in very different paradigms from one another although we share the same pleasures.

We draw our own conclusions based on those paradigms that we are accustomed to. we see and read what we expect to see and hear. That is how confusions in our tango conversations usually come about.

This is another very valid reason to avoid talking if at all possible, and not to discuss much with other fellow dancers but try and dance instead for most of the time we are spending at any milonga.

The only cat who loves you back!