Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Tango al Fresco

The two Tango al Fresco events are always highlights of the London tango year for me. Interesting that for a day everyone seems close to being 'milonguero': the floor is so packed that there's no room to be extravagant, and everyone adjusts, more or less, to the crowd because everyone's happy to be there. & it feels really good. I hope the connection between dancing close and neat, dancing with a lot of people and feeling really good gets widely recognised! There were a few attempts at flying heels early on, but they either flew away in disgust or joined the crowd. & the weather was excellent. It always takes a tango or two to get used to the camber of the floor, but it's wonderful to be outside under the trees on a sunny July afternoon. There are picnics all around, milonga friends everywhere, and a warm and relaxed feeling. Devotees of the more serious Buenos Aires milongas might find it too relaxed and informal, but it's always a very enjoyable afternoon, and it always seems to show London tango at its best.

I made a discovery that really interested me. When you don't have space to do much you can playfully vary the rhythm, pause when you might be expected to step, step on the offbeats, create a sequence of rhythms that seems irregular and yet returns to the regular beat at the end of a phrase, which can make dancing with small steps in a tight space more interesting. It's never occurred to me to explore this before.

I watched The Limits of Control by Jim Jarmusch when I got back, an original and unexpected film, as ever. There's a 'making of' on the DVD; you can watch actors being ordinary humans one moment, and suddenly someone else the next. & how many people does it take to film one person walking down a street? & Jarmusch tells the old truth: there are just so many stories, but there are infinite ways of telling them.

& there are just so many steps, but there must be infinite ways of dancing them. Roll on 8 August for the second event. Here's 25 seconds of last Sunday.

video

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

exactly. i prefer crowded milongas as they induce better behaviour.

of quiet milonga nights people say "oh well at least there's lots of space" ... grr! they don't get it - it is not just good behaviour it is also the communal feel of a milonga.