Monday, 21 June 2010

Here and there

I sometimes think it can surprise people in London to realise how much Argentines can bring to tango. That's not really intended to sound sarcastic, but I sometimes get the impression that even London dancers in a traditional tango style aren't that interested in Argentine dancers whose tango is traditional, that there's a feeling that we should sort out our own tango for ourselves, even that we might know a bit better than them. Maybe we should, maybe we do, but it's still wonderful when Argentines like Mimi, like Marcelo Rojas, turn up and really excite people with their passionate enthusiasm which, along with a sense of elegance, is really characteristic of traditional Argentine tango.

I heard a lot of very positive comments about the music the Buenos Aires DJ Marcelo Rojas played at Carablanca last Friday. People really liked it. In Buenos Aires I'd been struck how strong, proud, alive, the music often sounds, and how dull it sometimes sounds here. Tangoenelcielo pointed out that Buenos Aires DJs will typically play tanda after tanda of that strong proud music, a limited, often repeated selection of D'Arienzo, Biagi, Troilo, Tanturi, at the beginning of the evening. It's a good way to get a party going, but gets a bit repetitive. Later, Fresedo, D'Agostino, Pugliese maybe. I couldn't stay to the end, but that's the way the evening seemed to be shaping up. 'The music is so good this evening' was what I kept hearing. It certainly made me feel good, and quite a few other people too. Many thanks, Marcelo, it was great.

And I wonder how this couple, Argentine dancers whose tango is traditional, would be received if they visited London. 'Traditional' suggests a single style, whereas traditional tango is really individual: Osvaldo and Coca's tango, like the tango of everyone else of their generation, is unique. No two couples are alike. No other dancers move from humour to intense seriousness like Osvaldo and Coca, and always with impeccable musicality. They teach all over Europe in our summer months, but I wonder if many dancers would manage to to turn up if they gave workshops here. I've never seen tango as a competitive sport, so the idea of tango 'World Champions' always seems more than a bit off to me, but that's what they were, Campeones Mundial de Tango Salon, 2004. Even so, would many dancers go to their workshops in London?

& have I said all this before? & am I repeating myself? Sad, isn't it?



Video thanks to 2xtango (but it would have looked better without the logo), and thanks to tangocelebration for pointing it out.

7 comments:

johanna said...

Simply marvelous

LimerickTango said...

Love your point about traditional tango being individual

Tangocommuter said...

Thanks, Johanna, glad you enjoyed it. & thanks, Limerick. Yes, the traditional tangueros are individual, not only in their tango but also as... well, as individuals! That's why meeting them is such a bonus. Sure, like everyone else, they'll teach you ochos and giros and saccadas, but their human warmth and individuality is what's really impressive. They've lived tango all their lives: you learn a giro from them, and you come away with more than a giro!

A classical musician I know was watching tango and listening. He said to me: 'It's a magnificent obsession.' I love that.

So... Why don't we see that older generation in the UK? Sorry, I know I've said that before...

jantango said...

I saw videos on youtube of Osvaldo and Coca in Rome during the first week of June. It may be worth inquiring about their tour and finding an opening for them to be in London.

Dancers used to develop their own personal style in tango. Maria Nieves has said that has disappeared where new dancers are concerned.

Amantípoda said...

Maravillosos!

Anonymous said...

We loved this.tango is not only about steps it's about warmth and generosity of spirit towards your partner and the community at large. This allows individuals to flourish and achieve their best, most expressive dancing. You need to work at acquiring skiils to enable you to participate tto the best of your ability. Therefore we can learn alot from experienced dancers who understand the difficulties we face and can impart their knowledge in a supportive way. Erika

Tangocommuter said...

Thanks, Erica. Yes, I entirely agree. & not only are Osvaldo and Coca experienced dancers, they are also experienced teachers who can 'impart their knowledge in a supportive way'. We all agree that they are wonderful... which just emphasises my point: they've been in Europe (still are) for months, but we haven't seen them in London! Why?