Sitting watching the dancing at Carablanca on a recent Friday evening: it's started to look and feel really good. A good proportion of the couples were in close or close-ish embrace for most of the time, they moved round the line of dance well, and the dance in general is beginning to look quite smooth. In general I enjoy watching social dance a lot more than I enjoy watching 'demonstrations', especially when it's fluent, and it looks intimate and suits the feel of the music.
Carablanca has a long history in London tango. It started at the Welsh Centre in the early 1990s, and moved to Conway Square recently. I'd really like to write a history of it, with the tango stories of the people who work each week to make sure we have a good time, as I'm sure there are some interesting ones there. Maybe in the future. It's developed, with the thoughts and suggestions of many people over the past year or so, into something that's beginning to look like a traditional BsAs milonga, and the dancing is going that way too.
But just so we don't get too many illusions about ourselves, it's worth delving into the archive Jantango is building up, just as a tango 'reality check'. One thing that's amazed me over the past year is just how many wonderful older dancers there still are. It's wonderful that video can reveal to us people whose names are little known and who still look amazing. Here's such a couple, dancing oblivious to what seems an unsympathetic background. They show skill, playfulness, great elegance and real enjoyment... isn't that cool?
& of course this is the kind of milonga I'd really like to see, although this was filmed nine years ago and sadly it's no longer possible. Jantango identifies Ricardo Vidort and Muma, Carlos Gavito, Miguel Angel Balbi, Elba Biscay, and others I've not heard of. I thought I spotted Mimi there too. Wonderful to watch all these great tangueros on the floor together.