If this blog has one theme, it's how frustrating it is to be stuck in London in a sea of publicity for visits by young, mainly show-tango teachers, while some of the best of the older generation from Buenos Aires, with a life-time of experience, teach all over Europe yet never visit the UK. When I hear of such visitors to Europe I always draw attention to them – Osvaldo and Coca are in Europe now, and will be at Tango Retiro 2010 in Sweden in the last week of July, and Alberto Dassieu will be in Switzerland, also in July – in the desperate hope that someone can get them into the UK for a few days. Alberto I know for sure really hopes to be able to visit London this July. At one time I even fantasised about a London Milonguero Festival to which they'd all be invited – all together! – but I just happened to lack the funding... (I pushed out the idea in case someone thought, 'Hey, what a good idea. I'll do it!' – but I didn't think it was advisable to hold my breath.)
There are legal problems, yes, there are in most countries, but there must be ways for visitors to teach here temporarily: Los Ocampo and the Disparis manage to visit regularly for extended, well-publicised tours, as do bucket-loads of almost-identical teachers of showy tango. Surely by now there are enough of us to make a visit by some of those other wonderful dancers worthwhile? Because time isn't on our side. The window of opportunity may be just a year or two, if that. Not that their teaching will disappear when they go, but I happen to think that contact with all that experience is really important. Learning tango isn't just learning where to put your feet.
It was wonderful to have Mimi in London last weekend: the class was well-attended and, with a better understanding of what was possible with publicity we could have had better-attended workshops too. There was certainly no shortage of enthusiasm for her teaching. & that's just London. I think (hope) there's the realisation that 'milonguero' isn't just a style of tango, one among many, but that in its native form it has a big heart, and a life of its own, that it's a very profound communion between people.
In the meantime, if the prophets don't come to the UK, the only thing to do, it seems, is to go to them while they are still able to visit Europe. Italy is their no. 1 destiny, partly because of the language affinity, and several excellent dancer/teachers have settled there. You can make several trips to Italy for the cost of one visit to Buenos Aires: worth thinking about. See you in Milano/Venezia/Ferrara/Roma/Lecce/Bari next summer? Or do you think we could manage to get some good visitors to London by then?