Sunday, 26 July 2009


Carablanca was closed last night, so I went to Negracha and had an unexpectedly good evening, dancing for the most part with partners I didn't know.

I'm always fascinated by tango stories, the one-sentence stories people tell strangers about themselves in between dances. They always follow the same pattern: a situation, then an event that leads to a new situation. It's a traditional story pattern, in a single sentence. Less is usually more: so little is said that a lot is often suggested, intentionally or unintentionally, or perhaps simply imagined. Immediately, you know a lot about your partner – and nothing at all, really. I've thought of writing them down, but although they actually say very little, and the teller can be anonymous, there is something quite personal about the telling of them. I'd feel uncomfortable about writing them here for anyone to read.

An evening with plenty of dancing in a crowded room: it gets easier, particularly with a partner who can be led easily. Yes, it's a lot more pleasant in an open space, and Negracha was crowded, the usual clogged-up floor. Not that there were actually that many people there: it's just that their dancing takes a lot of room. Beginners and gancho-throwers occupying the line of dance: not much to chose between them! I notice that Igor Polk, the deep apilado man, or rather the man with the deep apilado partner, comments on it (you'll need to scroll down to 2009 April 20). He observes that forming a 'bus' of several couples moving round is one possible response, much as I've heard the 'convoy' suggested here. More interestingly, he says that '...floor stagnation is quite a recent phenomenon' and he wonders why.

& Leandro Palou and Romina Godoy, Tangosoul, were there. Good to see them again briefly. I haven't attended their classes for a while. & good music: plenty of favourite D'Agostino.


Anonymous said...

I went to carablanca and it closed. Started walking to Negracha .. and the old memories started flooding back so I went home instead.

if they play D'Agostino maybe I should put my snobbery aside and give it a go.

Anonymous said...

They do play traditional music upstairs at Negracha. Tango snobbery? Ha, that's a new one. Anon, you should sign up to the UK Tango group ( and then you would have known about Carablanca being closed.

@ Commuter
I was there too. I got stabbed in the back of the leg and I accidentally trod on a friend because some idiot came in from the side. The floorcraft was particularly bad and it WAS crowded because Carablanca was closed. I was there at 9:30 and was surprised at how many people were there that early.
In spite of all that, I had a good time. Glad you did too.

Tangocommuter said...

Sorry I missed you! I assume your injuries weren't life-threatening. I was surprised how many people were there early. Looking from the side I didn't think it was actually that crowded: it just seems very crowded when you're on the floor and people don't flow round the floor, when their movements are sudden and in all directions, and they keep trying steps that would fit well on the stage at the Peacock Theatre!

Game Cat said...

Was there too. Floor craft was homocidal with some drivers cutting diagonals, and nobody remembering that a giro is not supposed to travel.

Was there midnight onwards and heard only one tanda of D'Agostino (tango). Shared that with a good partner...and that was enough for me for the night.

Re the cortina stories....I know what you mean. I think it's part of the charm. Sometimes, with some people, I find it difficult to tell which are the interludes....the stories or the songs.

Tangocommuter said...

It's a technical point, but I've found two types of giro. There's the 'giro milonguero' which is a pivot on the spot, with both partners following a giro pattern around each other, interestingly at different times. He might do forward/side/back/side/forwards while she does side/back/side/forward/side/. Or so I've been taught.

Then there's a another kind of giro, which is like the one taught by Mingo and Esther Pugliese. This one can travel a lot: there can be a saccada for every step, and every saccada shifts the axis of the giro. Instead of a pivot on the spot, it can start to spread out in a spiral.

My impression was that no one last Friday was organised enough to do either of these... It was enthusiastic: you just had to ignore the cries of the wounded.

Anonymous said...

.. in that case I won't go for another year and see if they've improved then ...