Friday, 23 October 2009

Mimi Santapa

Someone kindly mentioned Mimi Santapa a while back: this seems to be the only YouTube vid of her dancing, and I'm linking it so I don't forget the name. She seems to have a great reputation as a teacher in BsAs, and it's said she hardly needs to travel to make a living from tango. She has, however, toured N. America and visited north England before.

I enjoy watching this. The dance sings along with the music, it's relaxed, effortless dancing, it doesn't require any anatomical peculiarities, any lifelong training, even any daily workout apart from dancing; it's just great basic salon, graceful, fluent, musical. There's a whole list of teachers I want to meet.

And the milonga, El Arranque, at 1759 Bartolome Mitre. It starts around 3pm, and at that time it's a bit of an old folks' milonga, everyone else being at work, I guess. People stroll in, order a coffee, read the papers, chat, dance a bit. It's a very relaxed, easy atmosphere, very courteous. Later it gets busier. A good place to go if you have a partner and want to practice, as it's not crowded, or just for a leisurely coffee. & it's way off the tourist routes.

6 comments:

Tango en el Cielo said...

I like the video too. I've never met Mimi, but have heard good things about her, both as a teacher and as a person, from friends in BsAs. (Since parting company with her ex-husband Francisco Santapa, she's had considerably more success in her solo teaching career than he has.)
As for El Aranque, it's certainly a popular afternoon milonga. I haven't been there for a few years. My memory of it is that it's very large and full of metal and mirrors, the average age of the men is very high but the standard of dancing is not. (and Laura confirmed recently that hasn't changed.)

Gordon said...

created the video of Mimi at El Arranque almost two years ago in December. I have been working with her for almost four years now in France, and the US (in Tallahassee, Florida if you can believe it!) She espouses posture over steps. With good posture and balance, steps come automatically. And it is true! But one must be patient. She will be in Tallahassee this coming June, for the third time.

Tangocommuter said...

Thanks for getting in touch, Gordon. When I started blogging about 'milonguero' tango, I doubted it would ever get read. Then I linked videos of Alberto Dassieu and of Luisito Ferraris, and both got in touch, actually to thank me. & now I hear from you about Mimi. It's a wonderful example of how global communities can develop, to everyone's benefit.

I was astonished to read that Mimi was in Sheffield recently... and it does seem to have been Sheffield, England. Why didn't we hear about her in London? It should have been possible to arrange some teaching in London. & is she likely to be back in the UK soon? I know immigration requirements make it very difficult now. Would it be possible to set up a basic website for her, so any tours can be announced? I'd certainly go over to Paris if she's there.

I'm London-based but in BsAs until late December, and I'm looking forward to her classes here. There is an email address on my main page if you need to get in touch.

Gordon said...

Hi, thanks for the response. Yes, I love these communities where people exchange information and experiences, although I often do not write myself. I have been considering creating a Facebook page for Mimi. She does nothing for herself (she does not need it). I am leaving for Bs.As. Dec. 6 and will be staying with her. How about giving me your email, and we could maybe meet? (you have a name :-)) You can contact me at gerlebacher@fsu.edu

Where are you located. By the way, Mimi does not go to Paris. She'll be in Pau, France sometime early to mid May and in my town mid June.

Gordon

Eryk said...

Hi, to my knowledge Mimi might be visiting Leeds this Spring/Summer for a week or two. You should contact Carole Vincent Wright a friend of Mimi for more information.
http://www.northerntangosociety.com/

denisegelato said...

I am one of the fortunate ones to have studied with Mimi...she is both a remarkable person and exceptional teacher. She is truly one of a kind. I also know Gordon and he has done so much to promote tango in his area. Good News: Mimi will be on Paros Island, April 20-27 for lessons and tano seminars!!1 How lucky we are!!! If any of you want to escape the cold, come down!!!flights are cheap, the weather is nice and Mimi is here!thanks so much for your blog