Sunday, 17 May 2009

Tango in Paris

In a delighted haze after two afternoons of workshops with Tete and Sylvia it's good to sit back in an internet cafe in front of a familiar screen, and an unfamiliar keyboard, and recall a few things. I've already extended my stay by a day in order to take one more workshop and go to the milonga. I couldn't leqve without going to a Pqris milonga.

First, Tete and Silvia. I've mentioned them to three people who took their classes 12 years ago on their last visit to London: Tete, they say, not that guy. It was their first teaching tour, and you might say that Tete had, and still has, a few rough edges, apart from not knowing how to teach -- but that was then. You could also say that what I'm told was a difficult character has become simply 'a character', one who teaches tango well and tirelessly, with great active support from Silvia. The practica and the two workshops were fun and hard work: they are attentive, observant and enthusiastic teachers, and everyone got a lot out of the classes. The two classes today both began with a bit of jazz dance, some walking steps, a fun warm up. Tete pointed out some basic similarities in the movements. The first class centred around change of direction, several easy enough moves, and simple and more difficult ways to lead out of them. The second class was centred around dancing to the music of Di Sarli, D'Arienzo, Fresedo and Pugliese, the differences in cadences and how to dance to them. Dance with your head empty and your heart full, Tete advised us. The classes all over-ran, and they actively taught the whole time.

Yesterday I arrived in time for a supervised practica on a boat moored in a canal basin. Interesting that when everyone stepped in time the boat gently vibrated underfoot.

There must be a number of tango groups in Paris, but I've really enjoyed meeting this group, unriendetango. It's been a very gentle and enjoyable experience: lots of good dances, many good-natured partners, never any competitive feeling, and seriously attentive and helpful teaching. Tete and Silvia are among the most popular of traditional Argentine teachers. Year after year they fill workshops across Europe and the USA: dancers everywhere enjoy and value their teaching and look forwards to meeting them again.

As I look forward to another nonstop workshop tomorrow, and to a milonga in Paris.


Anonymous said...

It was lovely to meet you on Wednesday. Seems as if you had a great time in Paris!
Is this what you meant about Tete being a character?

Anonymous said...

I wish I could've went. Does Tete have a schedule online or is there a mailing list one can subscribe to in order to find out where they are touring?

If you have any videos it would be great to see ...

Tango commuter said...

Yes! Londontango. That particular video was actually the first I ever saw of them. I've no idea what was going on that night, but seeing the video after six months as a beginner struggling to learn from an ex-ballroom dancer who'd learned from Pablo Veron was like... a refreshing mudbath! Yes! I kept thinking. Yes! This is tango! It took me ages to work out what they were doing: it didn't resemble in the least the neat arms'-length choreographies I'd been taught. But his speed and musicality impressed me so much that I just had to go to Buenos Aires to meet them.

Hi Yabotil. They have a website with details of their European visit this summer, If you go to the English version you'll find Tours. They are in France, then again in Italy and then in Germany in June. She does website design, so I guess she'll keep the site up-to-date. & I have videos from Paris which I'll put on YouTube in the next day or two, but you'll find plenty of others there.