Sunday, December 31

A Scent

Her scent was still reassuring me that I am not dreaming of her and that she is here, in my arms, breathing deeply, and deep in sleep.

I love “gardenia” (Chinese Jasmine). She always wears it and tonight she has been wearing it. Like always, it sends me to heaven. For me, this unmistakable scent has become synonymous with her presence. It seems the gods of East have created this scent just to please her, and it is created just to compliment her own skin's scent.

The very first time that I held her close in my embrace was when I learned of this magic sweet chocolate and spring jasmine scent. Holding her, and dancing with her, and looking at her, watching her smiling as we danced those dreamy songs, I felt bewitched.

Whenever we argued we could not stay crossed with each other for very long. I always felt that I was more annoyed with myself for allowing her to make me so angry! Same was true of last night. I was not even certain how it began. It seemed like we were both looking for an excuse to let the anger to surface. The argument was not planned. Foolishly perhaps I felt we were desperately looking for a way to let off steam and knew instinctively that the other would tolerate it without a total fall out.

When I turned the lights out, just before I made sure the alarm clock was not set for an early wake-up call on the New Year's day, I realised I was still bitter with her. We had not even said “good nights”.

I gently moved some hair off her face, and caressed her forehead, carefully traced a line of hair that led a path to her lips. For a moment I wondered if she had smiled back but she had not. She moved a little closer and I sensed the heat of her skin. I continued listening to her breathing deeper. There were no other sounds, just silence. It felt peaceful. The New Year's Eve rebellious seemed to have ended and harmony and gentleness has returned.

I did not want to know of time. It did not matter if it was near dawn or later, all that mattered was that she was in my arms and in my semi consciousness I knew I was no longer angry with her.

I felt she got closer, hugged me tighter, without opening her eyes faced me and quietly whispered “I wish I could hate you, just long enough, maybe for one whole day or night even, then you'd know how much I love you!" She didn't make much sense and I was not sure if this was an apology for last night but it did not matter since it was a sentence that carried some peace offerings. I kissed her gently and replied “me too!”

She hugged me and I sensed her soon falling back asleep again. I could not stop day-dreaming us dancing to our most favourite tangos. I loved our belonging. I knew that despite the evil green monster of jealousy plotting against us we would survive once more together.

(Milongacat is back!)

Saturday, December 16

Irony at Midnight

I know it was not fair, but I did not want to talk about me, her, or the crowd there. I only wanted her to open her arms wide and let me embrace her tight. I wanted to feel her close. I wanted to tango with her, across that floor, through those songs, all night tonight.

I know it was not fair, but I am not flawless, and I am no angel. All that I wanted was dancing with her and not to measure ourselves against that one other. "Sorry" is bad when we live envious, but how come no one sees it coming when we are making room in their lives for the empty? I suppose we can not help it, we always understand it when it is too late, or when we grieve. It is only when we can never talk that we begin to think rational.

I wanted her to feel good, to take all the options given to her for free. She had won the moves and the prizes despite and in spite of all the faults. Perhaps it was the charm of those tracks and dreamy words that meant what we wished them to say in our own minds.

Remembering the obvious attractions and to let it continue to go around, all the while knowing that it does not come around. I wonder how long it will be before I screw it up next again. She said "It never matters how hard I try!". What it comes down to is this that I seem to be for ever destined to get myself here where I am "the good-lover" who is sorry in or near the dawn for mispronouncing a familiar feeling once again!

As I leave tonight, breathing in the fresh salty air, I will make sure I will shout very loud "I am all right, I am free!", I wonder if I am a little wiser by the dawn. It is midnight and I will not regret the lottery that we lost. Let us not deny the pleasures we found when we were both drowned.

I am happy for all that we could not help, the secretes we kept, or all the promises we made, broke or forgot. Let the silent become alive, don't say "it will not hurt much again, you must be more careful for the next time!"

How can it not be ironic when we passionately danced a love song but left our love behind?

I know it was not fair but I only wanted her to open her arms wide and let me embrace her tight to dance with her the very last song and part without either of us saying good-bye.

(Milongacat is back!)

Tuesday, December 12

Nearly Dawn

Capturing the moonlight of dreams,
it is only you who is on my mind

Coping with all the sad days ,
it is only you who is on my mind

Reaching the deep blue of the sky,
Rising from the purple depth of the oceans,
it is only you who is on my mind

Wanting to taste life,
my tears burn into these letters,
like the heart of the desert wishing kisses of rain,
I can wish no other,
it is only you who is on my mind

The candle fights to survive, my tears waiting but never cease to dry,
it is nearly dawn and ....
it is only you who is on my mind.

Monday, December 11

Xmas Parties

This week and the next will be party weeks. At homes, offices, with friends, relatives and colleagues there will be many occasions to be merry and festive. However what I am looking forward to the most are the Tango Parties.

There are some notably good ones every year and in my opinion some of our best parties are held at the Dome, the Welsh Centre and the Crypt. This year we shall also be having the chance to experience the Negracha's.

From what I recall, the Crypt's xmas party offering us LIVE music, party drinks, and good food came up first at the top last year. It was a wonderful evening that many shall remember for being one of the best organised for xmas in London for many years.

I am hoping there will be more than one that we can have good memories with for this year.

Merry Christmas from 24tango bloggers.

Wednesday, December 6

Missing OS at Zero Hour

We all love OS. He knew how to spin those records every Wednesday at The Zero Hour – The Dome. He would study the dancers on the floor constantly and he would choose what to play next not by accident but by design, experience and knowledge. He was very rarely ever lazy with his job as a DJ. His choices were never made in isolation from each other or without considering either the dancers or the mood of the evening.

There was always a plan. It was shaped and worked on as the evening progressed.
His choices ranged from the classic to the ultra modern but he had a thread joining them together. That thread ran seamlessly and effortlessly through the songs of tangos, Waltzes, and Milongas.

He knew how to generate movement on the floor and build up the energy and movement on the floor. On the other hand he knew how to calm the crowd down after some ultra fast ones.

Everyone who visited the Zero Hour knows that there was something special about the DJ's choices, and almost everyone was pleased by the end of the evening.

He did not play the records to promote himself but he played them to promote the club. It was very common to see dancers to go and thank him at the end of the night for the pleasure they had. Sadly since he has left us from the Dome we have not had the same spirit there anymore. The records get played by what seems to be random and in a haphazard way.

It has been so bad on occasions that at midnight when the evening is finished "NO ONE" has a clue that it is over!!! The confused look on the DJ's face is the only message to those who are near him to see it that in fact he is also not sure what is to happen next!

Last week we had some songs played 3 times over in less that one hour and half!

It looks that the DJ has forgotten what the J stands for in his job as a DJ, no wonder he calls himself MR D! The impression we get is that he has not got a clue what the amplifier's knobs and buttons in front of him are there for either. The only bit of the equalizer he ever uses – if someone bothers to tell him off for – is the volume bar.

The records are often interrupted before they have properly reached their end notes. It has become common for everyone to be surprised if some songs ever reach their proper last notes. It all indicates that the DJ is very nervous and not sure when to change from one deck to the other.

"Dear OS please come back if it is possible at all!", we all miss him dearly and are very disappointed that his absence is filled by a DJ who does not even know how to fake it - never mind how to make it!

The really irritating thing is that there are so many good DJs available in London who would have done a better job but we ended up with the one who is missing a J in DJ.

Common! you guys at the dome, don't be so mean to us, give us the dome back with a DJ who indulges us, and not himself or you alone.

Milongacat is back!

Sunday, December 3

Shades of Red

My only fear remains with you if you choose not to paint us in these songs.

I know there is no other for me who can carry my desires for life so deep and so long. The demands I leave with you.

Have I told you lately how I have found it impossible to be away from you. There is none that wish for more except your embrace when I hear any tango song. I am in love with the colours that you let us paint when we dance, I am in love with all those shades.

Shades of Red, the colour of life, the colour of tango, I am in love red.

Thursday, November 30

The secret lives on

They speak none. Their purposeful "silence" is exchanged. The noticeable strength is in their momentary gaze, a communication that is to lead to shapes and forms. That is what will dominate their encounter. He takes his steps, walking towards her, she stands for him and waits.

It is not long before their bodies accentuate the notes and the rhythms of each song in soothing movements in harmony, enticing one another further and closer. Their moves display and play with invitations and challenges, temptation, excitement, and feelings. All still too careful, young, raw and tender. With another song the selfish pleasure zones where each had begun from start to melt and barriers are gradually getting ready to come down. There are openings for equally giving, and taking: sharing.

She can soon taste his addiction to tango as he does hers, it is closing in, with every move they know each other more. Her eyes are shut, all her other senses fully switched on. She studies him through him.

Finding herself at ease with him she lets her expectations to stretch beyond her norm. Her sensations urge and encourage her. Increasingly she wishes and wants some more. What she seeks is more of his gentleness; in touching and holding her firm she finds her own. Her ultimate desire is elusive. It is that feeling of security that she wants, allowing herself total surrender without compromising her stature and image of self. She knows this will only be possible if the two of them become dancing as one. Generously they share their synchronous beatings of hearts, breathing in, breathing out, the tingling heightened sensations of the other's feverish body embrace and touch.

She has begun to feel the reassuring numbing that is building up through her spine. This tells her the trance is near and might soon be on, this thought makes her lips part in smile. With fluidity in their steps they move closer and they begin to create life of dancing as one.

In a trance, somewhere between semi-consciousness and total joy, she is picturing herself in "the painting of a memory", one that is being drawn. Their creation is now alive in "the moment of Now".

With her eyes firmly shut, she watches herself dancing with him in the shimmering reflections that is projecting them. They are both certain that a secret is being born. "Will this secret continue to live on?", this echoes through the unfamiliar foreign words of another tango song. She confirms it in her mind; she has overcome; unabashed and blatant in the knowledge that the prey is caught.

Without doubts She can taste his tango addiction mixing with hers. It becomes the poison that defines life's desires:- wanting for living, extending and wishing be free and living without fear, fighting against despairs, reaching out for sharing of a caring touch, playing with lust, aiming for love, hoping to reach the very familiar ending that never has come, finding oneself being at peace, the feelings of being at home in the lands of unknown.

Would it last for "life" or is it simply for the living in the "Now" moments? No one dares to hazard a guess and nor should one, their secret is just born with the hope that it will continue to live on.


Thursday, April 6

London is getting a face lift!

I feel I need to say sorry for not to having been able to keep the blog updated as frequently as my good intentions were set with that in mind initially.

London is getting a tango face lift! That is how I am sensing it. There are new milonga clubs, in these places there are new teachers/faces teaching, working and attracting old and new dancers to their tango school/milongas.

It seems that there is a modern concept entering the tango scene: "Customers' needs must be met"!

This simple, well tried and tested concept that the customers' needs should come first had a very steep hill to climb with the London Tango scene's organisers. Fortunately the "Market Forces" began to play this market like any other and suddenly real Competition was born. Although it is yet not mature enough to go the whole way and to let the customers really express their wants and needs but things have started to improve already.

There is a long way to go till all organisers read the writings on the wall ...but we are getting there.

The tango dancers/students had hoped that there will be a time in London when competition will start to play its role and the message eventually begins to reach home that customers need are to be treated. Customers in tango scene are intelligent adults who expect to be given a minimum standard of service.

It is about time that the old "school" mentality needs to stop. No more school master/mistress treatment to dictate how our evening night outs are to be spent.

Perhaps it must now be accepted that we, London tango participants, are mature enough to see dancing and learning to dance tango not as a religiously organised affair (with rules and regulations that might send us to eternal damnations if we break the preached mould) but more as true means of taking pleasure in good company, music that we enjoy as opposed to organisers' personal taste, and to embrace friends whom we love sharing our joy of tango evenings with.

So I recommend you not just by voting with your feet whether to attend milongas or not but also by speaking out and aloud to the organisers and to tell them that their taste of music is not enjoyable or it is too loud, too quiet that you can hardly hear it at parts of the room or many other basic issues that they seem to ignore like the toilets being dirt, blocked, inadequately supplied with towels etc, or that the place is too dirty with dust and grime or even that they are being too greedy for charging as much as they are for entry fees or drinks (sometimes both) for what they are servicing us the customers.

There are now some new places and some old places that are getting their act together and we hope that the spirit of better customer service is one that will become stronger and more successful in London.

Friday, January 13

Negracha: One more of our London milongas

It is that time of the year again when we hear that every milonga starts to get going again with some trouble and gusto.

London tango scene can be very entertaining depending on what taste of milonga one has. The popular middle of the road (traditional tango) music dictates the music choice by almost all London milongas. In other words the dreaded safe populist approach rules the greater if not most or even all of an evening's music in all London regular milongas.

Naturally there are variations between the milongas but they are mostly run under similar guidelines for the type of the music that organisers believe is liked by "the majority".

It is in the light of that above that a few milongas have started to make their mark against the popular. One of these milongas is called Negracha Tango Club where there is a specific effort made to make the choice of music more varied, entertaining, challenging and certainly more of the European tango dancing influence.

Even at Negracha Tango Club they are careful not to brake the mould completely and they have devised the plan of playing different music at the two separate dance floors where one is dedicated to traditional and the other "Electrica Tango".

The Negracha Tango Club has been truly nomadic for over a year now, it has been hosted in 4 different locations to date but it still finds a good following whenever it it finds a home to be hosted and run and this Friday, 13 January will be its first late evening milonga of the year. Their website of usually updates the dates and the location where they are running their milonga in London.

The current place has fabulous two floors , good sound system, great space to dance at and the touch of entertainment that is unique to Ivan who organises and runs the Negracha. He always has a special movie or some multimedia ready program to show his guests as well as treating everyone to more of modern music than others would normally dare in London milongas.

More on other London Milongas at a later date.

Thursday, January 5

Something old: Twinkling Christmas Lights

The soft twinkling Christmas Lights were hardly visible through the late evening fog over the Thames, "this is the London town I love" I thought but spoke aloud to myself. You could feel the dry crisp cold air, misty and mysterious fog, combined with such unusual quietness of the Embankment , hardly any traffic. The Christmas holiday evenings were here for certain. This river Thames can be truly magical sometimes. It allows London to suddenly change to a friendly and personal kind of city, it becomes poetic, distancing itself from the normal harsh, busy and loud place that it is. It lowers its guards and lets you see into its naked soul.

Through the half-open car window I could still hear the cassette player, it is playing one of my favourite Tangos, "I wish I'd be dancing this now". Quietly and consciously I thought and spoke these to myself this time. How I wished it so, I smiled at the delicious but the impossible thought and continued enjoying the music and the scenery.

"The Wheel" did not belong there, the empty cabins of the wheel -London Eye - could be seen through the mist. It looked so out of place that late evening. The loud and annoying tourists who made stupid remarks at anything they paused by at the Tate gallery earlier today were now all gone. The only tourists were those who were mesmerised by the site of the huge and beautiful Palace of Westminster engulfed by the fog. With its spectacular architecture regally it belonged there. The fog felt at ease as it stroked the palace's walls and windows, the union between the palace, the fog, and the river is an old one. They are the old three friends who have spent so many evenings like this one in each other's company, everything else is now long gone.

Not very often but every now and then, through the fog, some couples leaning against each other pass by, they appear and disappear again after. All it takes is a few steps. "A few steps" is the magic itself. They huddled up close, walking slowly and speaking in whispers allowing me to enjoy the melodies of Astor's Tangos even more. Other individuals walk fast and briskly in a rush to get to their loved ones, quicker, earlier. There is someone as impatient and eager waiting there to receive them I am wishing.

I walked closer and leaned over the barriers, the river surface usually mirrors the lights from the surrounding buildings beautifully. The river adds its own silver and gold shimmering interpretation of any rays it is offered, then sends them back with some humbling generosity. The reflections are always deeper and made up with more colourful dancing lights. A true gift.

Tonight the river is in entertaining a close old friend: the fog. So the river's special light show is been taken off its stage to welcome the fog home.

Whilst leaning against an embankment bench I can't help thinking that "like any good Tango; some parts of our life need an obvious ending, a closure, a marking". Something that assures us there is no more to be done. I can't stop these going through my mind, another year is gone. This makes me feel both sad and relieved at the same time. The old heartaches and old cross roads are finally over and behind. The page has turned and the story goes on, another chapter has reached the end and a new one has therefore now begun.

I am fearful but certain of foolishly welcoming new heartaches and confusions, again and again! The affairs of our hearts are so much part of our existence that it is unfair to label them "predictable or weak". It is a signature that we love to share, give and receive and without these it feels wrong to live.

For now though, a closure is needed, short enough to say good-bye but long enough to choose the tender memories that are to be treasured.

It is a trifle colder now so I wrap the coat and my scarf a little tighter round me, still there is a noticeable shiver on my lips, it is not the cold that make my lips tremble but the taste of those tender and sweet moments that are now gone!

It is almost midnight, the Big Ben is about to strike, I get back into the car and as I slowly drive away I turn the volume up, I need the Tango to go on.

I promise myself "next year I shall dance this tango with the one whom I love".

Two For Tango at The Welsh Centre


UPDATE: 2008 This venue is now closed! THE ARGENTINO WAY no longer exists at the Welsh. Many thanks to them for good memories.


It is not surprising to find out that the Welsh Centre kicks off the first milonga of the New Year in London in 2006.

This Friday, not only "Two For Tango" (24tango) blogger but many more will be hopefully showing up there to start off the 2006 Tango joys and Tango pains.

TANGO - THE ARGENTINO WAY is affectionately known as The Welsh amongst many who visit it without fail every week.

The Welsh is different in the way that it has different visiting teachers almost every week, it is right at the centre of the London which makes it accessible to all. It has a very good dance floor and the DJs are themselves from the regular devoted tango dancers.

The music that is played there is under the recommendation guidelines of the milongas organisers and it tends to be a little too conservative for many of younger dancers.

The Welsh is a milonga that is a meeting point/place for most of the
London dancers and everyone feels that it is home. During its many long years of Tango existence, it has been a point of introduction for an incredible number of world famous names of instructors/teachers from Europe, USA, and Argentina.

The regular, myself included, always like to complain about its chaotic dance floor but it seems no one wants it changed! The reason is that it gives us at the very least something to talk about or maybe one good enough reason to complain about the Welsh since everything else about this milonga is difficult to fault.

This Friday 6th Jan 2006, Pablo Alonso is the designated teacher and the DJ there. The class is at 7:30 to 8:30, and the dancing continues till 11:00.
(The address for those who need to know is 167 Grays Inn Road London W1)

Wednesday, January 4

New Year's Eve Tango at the Factory

It was a joyful start into the New Year with dancing tango at The Factory, I was lucky enough to be met and picked up from my home by my dear friend and her girl friend.

The Factory was very festively and nicely decorated. The evening's celebration was given a special treat by making sure that the bottles of champagne and white wine as well as other drinks were continuously refreshed throughout the whole evening, a real blast that I am sure all visitors appreciated.

I had some wonderful dances in addition to the pleasure of hearing the good news of two tango friends engagement during Christmas holidays.

New Year's Eve tango evenings can be very tricky affairs. It is something from the limbo land of "Should I go or should I not?" , and many "What if?" scenarios.

This year I think the Factory was the best place I could have chosen to go to, I had a very good time dancing and meeting with friends to welcome the New Year together.

London, Tango, and 24tango

I have only danced tango in London and no other place, and I also know that that I have danced with so many people from other countries that it is easy to feel that I have danced tango in so many places in the world. It remains for me to find out differently in the future if there are any differences or that Tango feels the same all over the world.

The reason I feel what I stated above is that I love the dance for the moments in which it lives, for the duration of the song that it gets shaped and find its forms, it is danced just for the partner whom I embrace in those moments because together we create and live in that tango. Therefore the place and the time both become just issues of physicality while the tango becomes and is the essence of our emotional mentality
; the soul; and the only "living" that matters for when it matters.

Tango is few moments in which two people who dance it, can share a want, a need and that is to please a hunger for the passion of a loving embrace to show their love for life.