Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Geraldine, Gerardo and Gustavo

Thanks to Simbatango for the good news that Marisa Galindo has put a personal archive of her videos onto YouTube. A lot of treasures there to be enjoyed. Amazing to think that four years ago YouTube had relatively little tango. It's become very valuable.

Geraldine Rojas and Gerardo Portalea together first caught my attention. & it's such a wonderful dance, intensely tender and gentle. Even the way he steps seems to show care and respect for this gifted child who dances so beautifully, and he offers her space in which to dance beautifully. Portaleo late in his life and Geraldine early in hers: there's a sense that they recognise and respect this polarity. & the music comes across very clearly.

Geraldine Rojas and Gustavo Naveira together is very different. Gustavo is a true virtuoso, dexterous, lightning-fast, and capable of endless extraordinary variations. And yet there's something hard about it. She has to keep up with him, and dance to his music rather than having the opportunity to dance to the music as she hears it; it's as if she's in an exam and needs to find the right answers all the time. Instead of the sense of two human beings, they start to look a bit like speeding marionettes. And then there's that avalanche of 'steps' towards the end, which seems out of all proportion to the music. Too many steps!

You could say Gerardo Portalea is a very limited dancer beside Gustavo. He gets through a whole tango with fewer than half a dozen steps, he's slow, lacking inventiveness, energy, liveliness. It's probably just me, but I know I'll watch that clip of Geraldine Rojas and Gerardo Portalea many times, and still be moved by it. I can't say that of the clip of Geraldine with Gustavo.


Anonymous said...



videos next to the the panda.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your critique of Naveira's dancing. He turned 48 today and hasn't changed as far as being a showman. He looked respectable in a suit and bowtie. His first wife Olga Besio is standing on the sidelines.

Others in the Galeria del Tango video are Pocho Pizarro & Stella Barba, Pupy Castello & Graciela Gonzalez, Juan Belsito & Nina, Petaca & partner.

Tangocommuter said...

Thanks for identifying the other dancers. I think most of them feature in the other videos in the series, but I just haven't had time to watch them all yet. & I hope many more personal archives like this one will appear on YouTube.

& thanks for the link, Anon.

Simba said...

Mirrors my thoughts when watching these clips exactly.

I really like the exam analogy. My wife says that certain 'advanced' dancers are always trying her out to see what they can make her do. Which she does not enjoy.