I have the reputation of being a milongaphobe, but I don't dislike milonga at all although I dance it reluctantly and (I think) unconvincingly. I like the music, but not as much as tango or vals. A partner once told me she often finds it difficult to get a leader for milonga so I wonder if milongaphobia is a common affliction. Is there an element of wit or light-heartedness in milonga that's somehow a problem? I don't think it has much to do with the speed of the music since I dance vals in double time without hesitation. Teachers convinced me early on that milonga is a separate, different dance, with different 'steps', and I felt I had enough to do with learning tango 'steps', so I didn't bother. & now it suits me to take a break. No, no, it's milonga! But watching some of the older Buenos Aires dancers has been very reassuring. For instance, isn't this wonderful? (A pity the picture gives away the age of the dancers: just watching the first twenty seconds of their feet you'd never guess.)
When it comes down to it, milonga isn't a separate dance, or tango danced fast, but tango danced to a milonga beat. Some figures work better in tango or milonga, but it's hardly a separate dance. It wasn't until I took a workshop with Adrian and Amanda Costa that I realised that most milonga isn't necessarily relentless and fast but, like tango, can have its pauses and musicality: thanks! & I've watched older dancers in Buenos Aires whose milonga seems very slow, but is full of feints and pretences. Once you catch on to what they are doing, it's actually quite funny to watch.
Pocho and Nelly's dancing is beautiful, no other word for it. It's breathtakingly musical, unhurried, passionate, assured. Seguro, seguro! & for once the film is well made, technically good quality, with a clear whole-body view. It's sad that there are relatively few videos of this couple on YouTube. I don't know how old they are, but they must be among the last survivors of the generation that learned tango around the 1950s. There was a tango hiatus until the late 1980s: they may have continued dancing, but not many people did, so they are one of the last direct links to the dance of the golden age, and good video of them should be really important. They've done a few teaching tours of the US, so maybe there's more out there. A pity someone can't get funding to rent a venue, perhaps in the afternoon, and pay dancers of that generation generously to attend a few milongas, where they could be filmed well, dancing socially and solo. Sadly, there's not much time left.
Here's another older couple dancing a fast milonga in El Beso.Once again, there's nothing technically difficult (except that calesita at 00:58): it's just incredibly well done.
Videos thanks to Grznik and Tangaso.