Friday, 11 December 2009

Another good evening.

Another class with Mimí Santapá, and I need to clarify something. Yes, she says 'postura' a lot, but this doesn't seem to mean 'good posture' in the English sense of the straight and probably rather stiff back. When Mimí talks about 'postura' she's talking about where and how you place your feet, how your knees and hips relate to this in movement, how this affects the angle of the shoulders and the position of the head. 'Postura' means posture of the whole body in movement, not just the static straightness of the back, which is actually something she doesn't dwell on. & it's amazing how detailed her vision of 'postura' is. Her classes start with walking, and work from the way the feet are placed, and how the rest of body must follow, into 'un paso'. If you've got your feet in the right place to begin with and you walk correctly, the 'paso' will be natural for you and your partner, and consequently it will look elegant.

It's a meticulously detailed approach; it's work, and not a lot of fun, so it was great to go on to another of Martha and El Gallego Manolo's classes. It was canyengue to start with, and just when I was beginning to get a bit tired of the relentless slow canyengue beat they switched to milonga. It was a fun class. I'm really glad to be taking classes in castellano: it is an effort, and my understanding is partial at best, but it means a wide range of classes, and meeting and dancing with the endlessly welcoming people of the city, this city of billowing exhaust fumes. & just when we all sat down tired at the end of the class, Martha and Manolo put on more music and treated us to a ten-minute display of their milonga, which was simply stunning. Martha's light quickness of foot would put to shame a good many dancers one-third of her age. She laughs; dancing makes her happy, while Manolo leads complex moves with the calm effortlessness of someone strolling in the park. Another good evening.

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